Battery Breakthrough Gives Boost to Electric Flight

Researchers at Berkeley Lab and Carnegie Mellon University have designed new solid electrolytes that light the path to wider electrification of transportation. (Image courtesy of Jinsoo Kim)

To produce a rechargeable battery that power electric aircraft, scientists have endeavored to replace the graphite anodes currently used in batteries with lithium metal anodes. A new class of soft, solid electrolytes – made from both polymers and ceramics –suppress dendrites in that early nucleation stage, before they can propagate and cause the battery to fail.

The materials have been integrated into larger-format batteries for both EVs and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or eVTOL.