Electric Power Systems (EPS) modules are technology that could be compatible with and used in support of United’s future decarbonizing investments
United is targeting EPS modules for potential use in airline’s current ground operations, while eyeing an all-electric flight academy in the future
CHICAGO, July 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — United today announced an investment in Electric Power Systems, a company producing battery technology that can potentially be used for a broad suite of aerospace applications. Rather than producing battery cells, the company’s compatible module technology can be adapted to support a variety of batteries, optimizing performance and safety. The versatility of the technology could allow United to consider EPS’s modules for a number of near-term applications, and as part of its longer-term operations that support decarbonization. This is United’s second investment in electric battery technology, after sodium-ion battery-maker Natron.
“Typically, we’ve had a clear vision of how to integrate sustainability investments into our operations. What makes EPS’s technology different and exciting is the scope of operational possibilities where we have the option to deploy it today and, in the future, to help electrify and decarbonize our operations,” said United Airlines Ventures President Michael Leskinen. “United’s best roadmap to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets, is by using every tool at our disposal – that includes the potential use of EPS’s impressive portfolio of electric aircraft powertrain solutions, including high-performance power electronics, and energy storage systems.”
Electric Power Systems aims to provide a whole battery “ecosystem” for aviation, from the packs on aircraft to charging stations on the ground. This in turn is designed to keep costs low and provide rapid charges without degrading the life of the battery. Key to the entire proposition of electric aviation is designing a battery that can store a high amount of energy with as little weight as possible. If a battery is too heavy, it makes an aircraft uneconomic compared to conventional fossil fuel-powered planes.