ABB, Lilium team up to develop MegaWatt fast-charging system for eVTOLs

The German eVTOL company Lilium wants to set up a regional electric flight network in Germany, Florida, and Brazil from 2024. The startup has now teamed up with Swiss technology company ABB to develop and supply MegaWatt fast-charging infrastructure for the all-electric 7-Seater Lilium Jet.

The initial range of a 7-Seater Lilium Jet is expected to be 155 miles (250 km) with a cruise speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). It will have a range of 155 miles (250 km).

To achieve this recharge, ABB will use the MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) format under development. The ABB charging points are designed to be capable of fully charging batteries in approximately 30 minutes and charging up to 80% in 15 minutes. This will enable the 20-25 flights per aircraft per day planned across Lilium’s global vertiport network.

A system that will reach considerable powers that can reach a maximum of 3.75 MW (3,000 A at 1,250 V) enough to recharge a 62.5 kWh battery in just one minute. In 5 minutes, it will be able to recover 312 kWh, while in a session of between 15 and 20 minutes, it would be about 937 to 1,250 kWh, according to the promoters of the format.

“We believe that the decarbonization of aviation is both urgent and inevitable,” said Daniel Wiegand, CEO, and Co-Founder of Lilium. “Making sure we have the right charging infrastructure will play a crucial role in enabling our high-speed regional air network by allowing quick and efficient charging. We are proud to be working with ABB, who bring decades of experience in electrification and software, to set the charging industry standard for electric aviation.”

The regional air network will be made up of a series of vertiports with multiple parking bays and high-power charging points. The MegaWatt fast-charging system will allow direct current (DC) charging of up to 1000 kW and can also be used for heavy-duty vehicles, such as cars, buses, and trucks, as well as vertical take-off vehicles such as Lilium’s. In the development of the MCS, ABB and Lilium plan to adhere to the relevant standards that support interoperability.

ABB has also recently announced the launch of the world’s fastest commercially available chargers for regular EVs: the 360-kilowatt Terra 360, capable of fully charging an electric car in 15 minutes or less.

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