ABB E-mobility will provide the charging infrastructure for Lilium’s high speed regional air network, which will see the company develop, test and supply the MegaWatt fast charging systems necessary for the quick turnaround needed for electric aviation flights.

As part of the agreement, which was announced yesterday (Wednesday), the ABB charging points are designed to be capable of fully charging batteries in about 30 minutes and charging up to 80 per cent in 15 minutes. This will enable the 20-25 flights per aircraft per day planned across Lilium’s global vertiport network, which currently spans Brazil, Germany and the USA.

The initial range of its seven-seater Lilium Jet is expected to be 155 miles with a cruise speed of 175mph.  

Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division, said: “Combining Lilium’s mission to grow sustainable aviation with ABB’s global market expertise and leadership in e-mobility and charging infrastructure is a win for the environment and a win for passengers.

“Moreover, we see this planned partnership as an important commitment to all relevant charging standards that are adopted by multiple electric ‘vehicle’ manufacturers. By supporting the new MegaWatt charging standard, ABB E-mobility is paving the way for the electrification of all modes of transport, from cars and trucks to marine vessels, mining vehicles, and now, aviation.”

ABB is a global technology company which energises the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB says it is pushing the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels.

Its MegaWatt Charging System (MCS) will also allow direct current (DC) charging of up to 1000 kW and can also be used for electric heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses.

CharIN, the organization that promotes interoperability based on the Combined Charging System (CCS) as the global standard for charging vehicles of all kinds, initiated the Task Force ‘Megawatt Charging System’ in 2018 to prepare international charging standard for commercial vehicle high power charging.  

Daniel Wiegand, CEO and Co-Founder of Lilium, added: “We believe that the decarbonisation of aviation is both urgent and inevitable. 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.”

In 2019, global CO₂ emissions from all commercial air operations reached 918 million tons, an increase of 29 per cent since 2013.. With passenger transport responsible for 780 million tons, or 85 per cent, of the total emissions from air operations, decarbonisation of transport is a vital step in the fight against climate change and building a more sustainable future.