Charging concept for electric aircraft enters new dimensions

May 13, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
If aircraft are to be fitted with electric propulsion soon after street vehicles, the developers of charging infrastructures will have to face completely new dimensions. This is illustrated by the concept design for a loading system that Chargepoint recently presented: While a charging capacity of 400 kW is already considered a challenge for road vehicles, the company’s concept for charging electric aircraft is designed for 2 megawatts. The interesting thing is that the system should also be suitable for electric trucks.

In view of the transition to electrified trucks and aircraft expected in the next few years, the concept design is a proposal for high-performance charging applications and is intended to stimulate discussions on a uniform plug in the industry. Uber plans to enter the first of its so-called "Elevate" markets (Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai) as early as 2020. According to analysts, by 2030 fifteen percent of trucks sold worldwide will already be electrified, with these vehicles catching up with diesel vehicles in terms of costs from 2025. Aircraft manufacturers are already testing electric drives for a number of applications, which could lead to cost savings of several hundred billion dollars in this industry sector.

"The powertrain debate is over and electrification has established itself as a drive method in all transport categories, which is reflected in the growing interest in electrifying trucks, aircraft and beyond," explains Pasquale Romano, President and CEO of ChargePoint, Inc. The new design not only provides a first look at a single industry connector that can be useful to truck and aircraft manufacturers and operators, but is also the impetus for an important discussion in the industry".