eVTOLs or electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles are the cars from 2077, able to travel in the air, hover, and perform vertical take-offs, just with an electric battery. The only problem is that batteries nowadays are either not powerful enough or if they are powerful enough, they’re too bulky and charge too slowly for building an eVTOL to make sense.
But maybe not anymore. This team of engineers from Pennsylvania State University might solve the issue by testing new batteries that can be recharged in a matter of minutes and survive a good amount of charge cycles. The research was published in the journal Joule, which you can read up here. These new batteries might just mean that we could see flying taxis (the urban name for eVTOLs) in the future.
The research is headed by Chao-Yang Wang, director of the Electrochemical Engine Center, who said that “I hope that the work we have done in this paper will give people a solid idea that we don’t need another 20 years to finally get these vehicles”. He and his team have been testing energy-dense lithium-ion batteries that are capable of a 50-mile journey in just 5 to 10 minutes of charging.
Wang said that “I believe we have demonstrated that the eVTOL is commercially viable”. How are the batteries charging so quickly you ask? Well, apparently they rapidly head them to a certain temperature using a nickel foil which allows for super-fast charging without any damage.
According to Wang, “Commercially, I would expect these vehicles to make 15 trips, twice a day during rush hour to justify the cost of the vehicles. The first use will probably be from a city to an airport carrying three to four people about 50 miles”. The only thing really holding back eVTOLs was the batteries so if that issue is fixed then we could be seeing the first commercial flying taxi near the end of this decade.
Imagine buying a hover car and people call it flying taxi.