Innovative Battery Technology Puts Flying Cars on the Horizon
Jet packs, robot maids, and flying cars were all promises for the 21st century. We got mechanized, autonomous vacuum cleaners instead. Now a team of Penn State researchers are exploring the requirements for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and designing and testing potential battery power sources.
“I think flying cars have the potential to eliminate a lot of time and increase productivity and open the sky corridors to transportation,” said Chao-Yang Wang, holder of the William E. Diefender Chair of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Electrochemical Engine Center, Penn State. “But electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles are very challenging technology for the batteries.”
The researchers defined the technical requirements for flying car batteries and report on a prototype battery on June 7, 2021, in Joule. “Batteries for flying cars need very high energy density so that you can stay in the air,” said Wang. “And they also need very high power during take-off and landing. It requires a lot of power to go vertically up and down.”
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