Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) founder, believes battery-powered electric airplanes could be viable in about five years.
Replying to a tweet on Sunday from a user who inquired whether it is possible for planes to fly off a battery, the electric car entrepreneur said that it will be a while before battery energy density improves enough to offer acceptable range.
“Is it possible for planes to fly off of a battery? Or is there not a powerful enough battery yet?” Twitch streamer Ninja inquired. “Yes, but still a bit too limited on a range,” Musk replied. “That will change in coming years as battery energy density improves.”
The rocket scientist went on to say that although jet fuel is more energy dense than Li-ion batteries when it comes to energy density, the efficiency gains mean that so much energy potential isn’t needed.
“Jet A (kerosene) has much higher energy density than Li-ion batteries, electric motors weigh much less and convert stored energy to motion better than combustion engines,” Musk said.
Based on some math that he said he did a decade ago; Musk estimates batteries will be able to support planes in about five years. “FWIW, based on calcs I did 10 years ago, cross-over point for Li-ion beating kerosene is ~400 Wh/kg. High cycle batteries are just over 300 Wh/kg today, but probably exceed 400 in ~5 years,” he wrote.
With the global aviation industry producing around 12% of carbon dioxide emissions from all transport sources, such an invention could drastically help in the fight against climate change.
Tesla Inc Profile
Founded in 2003 and based in Palo Alto, California, Tesla is a vertically integrated sustainable energy company that also aims to transition the world to electric mobility by making electric vehicles.
It sells solar panels and solar roofs for energy generation plus batteries for stationary storage for residential and commercial properties including utilities.
The Tesla Roadster debuted in 2008, Model S in 2012, Model X in 2015, and Model 3 in 2017. Global deliveries in 2018 were 245,506 units. Tesla went public in 2010 and employs about 50,000 people. – Warrior Trading News