Boeing and Safran invest in Electric Power Systems
Boeing and Safran have made a joint investment in Electric Power Systems, based in, Logan, Utah, which develops energy storage products, such as batteries, for the lightweight, high-end power needs of aerospace and other markets.
Electric Power Systems (EPS) currently supports some of the most-prominent electric and hybrid-electric airplane developments, such as the NASA X-57, Bye eFlyer and Bell Nexus. The X-57, centred around the development of NASA’s first all-electric experimental aircraft, recently tested the motors and propellers together for the project’s Mod II activity, which is the first electric configuration of the vehicle.
NASA also recently received delivery of the wing for the project’s following Mod III activity, allowing testing to progress for two of X-57’s three electric configurations.
The new investment by Boeing and Safran aims to help EPS develop an automated industrial base, capable of producing aviation-grade energy systems. The investment will also focus on reducing the costs of batteries for electric airplanes.
“EPS’ battery technology meets Boeing’s high standards of safety and can enable significant cost savings for customers,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “This strategic investment accelerates the development of clean, quiet and safe urban air mobility solutions.”
EPS is the second battery builder to join the Boeing HorizonX Ventures portfolio, following a 2018 investment in Cuberg, which develops lithium metal battery technology. Safran Ventures also recently invested in OXIS Energy, a UK developer of lithium-sulfur cell technology for high energy density battery systems.
“Safran will collaborate with EPS to offer our customers electric or hybrid-electric propulsion systems with a level of performance that sets us apart from competition,” said Alain Sauret, president, Safran Electrical & Power. “This technology cooperation is emblematic of Safran’s strategy in greener propulsion solutions. Safran is already at the cutting edge of this field, and we are proud to accelerate through this investment.”