Safran Elec­tri­cal & Pow­er has signed a team­ing agree­ment with Cuberg, a sub­sidiary of the bat­tery man­u­fac­tur­er North­volt, around indus­tri­al, tech­ni­cal and com­mer­cial coop­er­a­tion to joint­ly devel­op an avi­a­tion ener­gy stor­age sys­tem for future ful­ly elec­tric and hybrid air­craft.

The com­pa­nies will com­bine their com­ple­men­tary tech­nolo­gies to cre­ate high per­for­mance propul­sive ener­gy stor­age sys­tems avail­able for future gen­er­a­tions of air­craft.

Cuberg will man­u­fac­ture and sup­ply recharge­able avi­a­tion bat­tery sys­tems based on Cuberg’s lithi­um met­al cells, mod­ules and packs, while Safran Elec­tri­cal & Pow­er will devel­op a smart ener­gy stor­age sys­tem man­ag­ing the sys­tem design, high volt­age pro­tec­tion com­po­nents, inte­gra­tion, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and in-ser­vice sup­port.

Cuberg bat­tery sys­tems are built on a con­fig­urable mod­ule, which has been inter­nal­ly val­i­dat­ed to achieve a spe­cif­ic ener­gy of 280 Wh/kg and ener­gy den­si­ty of 320 Wh/L.

Spe­cif­ic ener­gy is claimed up to 40% high­er than com­pa­ra­ble mod­ules based on lithi­um-ion tech­nol­o­gy, which trans­lates to increased flight range. Cuberg mod­ules are pur­pose-built to man­age the mechan­i­cal, ther­mal, and elec­tri­cal inte­gra­tion of next-gen­er­a­tion bat­tery cells.

The Cuberg mod­ule incor­po­rates Cuberg’s 20 Ah lithi­um met­al cell tech­nol­o­gy that uses a lithi­um met­al anode and pro­pri­etary liq­uid elec­trolyte to solve the chal­lenges of high-per­for­mance cell design and man­u­fac­tura­bil­i­ty.

“We are excit­ed to team with Cuberg as they pro­pose unequalled dis­rup­tive bat­tery cells tech­nolo­gies asso­ci­at­ed with a best-in-class indus­tri­al process sup­port­ed by North­volt,” said Bruno Bel­langer, Pow­er divi­sion VP of Safran Elec­tri­cal & Pow­er.”

Cuberg CEO and founder Richard Wang added: “This part­ner­ship will help both com­pa­nies pro­vide cer­ti­fi­able inte­grat­ed bat­tery sys­tems to avi­a­tion cus­tomers around the world.

“Cuberg has built the world’s most estab­lished high-per­for­mance avi­a­tion bat­tery sys­tems pro­gram, and this agree­ment is a wel­come endorse­ment of our tech­nol­o­gy, our peo­ple, and our vision for the future of flight.”

Safran is an inter­na­tion­al high-tech­nol­o­gy group, oper­at­ing in the avi­a­tion propul­sion, defence and aero­space mar­kets, has 83,000 employ­ees and sales of 19.0 bil­lion euros in 2022. It is list­ed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices. The com­pa­ny is a key play­er in the elec­tric and hybrid propul­sion sec­tor. It has 11,500 employ­ees across 13 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

In April, Cuberg unveiled a new pro­gramme to devel­op high-per­for­mance bat­tery sys­tems that will enable safe, sus­tain­able elec­tric flight based on its inno­v­a­tive lithi­um met­al bat­tery tech­nol­o­gy.

In June, Archer Avi­a­tion and Safran Elec­tron­ics & Defence detailed an ongo­ing part­ner­ship in cut­ting-edge avion­ics tech­nol­o­gy going back to 2021, focussing on ‘indus­try-lead­ing com­po­nents that have a proven track record of safe­ty and per­for­mance’.