In the world of electric vehicles, there is one big, gaping hole where an entire class of machines belongs, yet… that class is virtually nonexistent.
We have electric cars, buses, and trains.
We have electric bikes, motorcycles, boats, electric pickup trucks and semis, and even electric lawnmowers.
What's conspicuously missing from this spectrum is anything that takes humans off the ground and into the air.
Electric aircraft remain almost exclusively of the unmanned variety, with thousands of products — ranging from children's toys all the way up to military-grade surveillance drones — rushing to fill a rapidly expanding market.
Flying machines big enough to lift one or more humans were novelties by comparison, probably the most famous of which is the Solar Impulse 2, which became the first piloted electric airplane to circumnavigate the globe (not all at once).
When it came to scalable consumer transportation, however, there simply was nothing on the market.
Last September, that all changed with the arrival of the world’s first electric passenger plane, the Alice, made by Eviation Aircraft.
The First of Its Kind
It flew for the first time last year and has completed a number of short flights since then.
Unfortunately, since these early test flights began, the Alice's proposed range was revised down from 440 nautical miles to 250 nautical miles.
That revision underscores the critical limitations of current electric aircraft technology and serves as yet another symptom of a problem that has kept electric air travel little more than an experiment up until now.
Back in 2021, a research paper published by the team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University determined that small commercial aircraft will require batteries with an energy density of at least 480 watt-hours per kilogram to be cost-effective for the operators.
Right now, lithium-ion batteries, the long-standing standard of rechargeable batteries, can only deliver 260 Wh/kg.
That’s a big enough deficiency to require a breakthrough-level innovation to overcome, and if the electric airplane sector is ever to tackle the world of high-capacity intercontinental travel, where aircraft must operate far more efficiently, the breakthrough will need to be even more significant.
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And that's only one side of the problem.
Add to all of that the fact that lithium-ion batteries don’t have the best reputation as far as safety goes.
In fact, most airlines prohibit the transportation of fully charged spare batteries, and have for years, making the prospect of the aircraft itself being powered by one of these perceived ticking time bombs that much less realistic.
One Australian company that’s been working on a next-generation rechargeable battery for the consumer technology market had an idea that sidestepped the problems of current lithium-ion technology.
Ditch the lithium.
This company's new batteries use aluminum and a novel material called graphene as the cathode.
Graphene is a wonder material that won the Nobel Prize in Physics back in 2010. Its properties can only be described as "otherworldly." Join Wealth Daily today for FREE. We’ll keep you on top of all the hottest investment ideas before they hit Wall Street. Become a member today, and get our latest free report: “How to Make Your Fortune in Stocks”
It contains full details on why dividends are an amazing tool for growing your wealth.
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For one thing, it’s 200 times stronger than steel.
An acre of it weighs less than a gram.
It can be made to be transparent.
It’s an incredible electrical conductor and the world’s best known conductor of heat.
Batteries made from graphene boast properties just as impressive as the material itself.
- 2–3 times the range
- 3–5 times the overall service life
- 70 times the charge speed
You could literally fill your EV battery up from 0% to 100% in less time than it would take you to fill your ICE car up at the pump and have enough charge to drive for about a month.
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Just imagine all that and picture what it would do to the automotive and heavy trucking industries virtually overnight.
A battery like that, with well over 500 Wh/kg, could revolutionize air travel just the same.
So why hasn’t it happened yet?
The problem was cost. Graphene is a nanostructure, meaning it's engineered on a molecular level. Just a few years ago it cost twice as much as gold to produce.
The company I mentioned earlier, however, got around this problem by creating a production method that allowed for the manufacture of high-quality graphene for orders of magnitude less than it had cost in the early days.
This immediately opened up a ton of potential in the world of consumer goods, and batteries became an obvious choice.
Today, these batteries are finally a reality. They are rolling off the assembly lines at the company’s Brisbane production facility and heading off to corporate clients for testing and evaluation.
If all goes as expected, you’re going to start seeing these Australian-made graphene-aluminum batteries in things like laptops and drones, and soon after that, e-bikes.
The Holy Grail, of course, will be the EV industry.
Meanwhile, the electric aircraft industry will be emerging for the first time ever, on the backs of these next-generation batteries.
Is Lithium Already Dead?
Now, let’s look for a minute at the market that these graphene batteries will be targeting.
Experts are currently projecting that the lithium-ion market will have annual revenues of over $200 billion by the end of the decade.
Given the advantages of graphene, it’s quite possible that lithium-ion will be a dead industry by then. How dead? Think Betamax, LaserDisc, and clear cola.
The company that’s behind this isn’t the multinational giant you might expect. It is, in fact, a relatively young firm that focuses on graphene and graphene only.
It’s virtually unknown outside of professional circles, but its stock is already trading on two North American exchanges.
Being young and obscure, its market cap is fractions of where it should be, but that’s just the nature of the game. The value is hidden.
Once the headlines start piling up, however, you can expect that to change in a heartbeat.
If you want to learn more about this company and the technology it'll be bringing to the world in the coming years, check out this quick presentation.
Fortune favors the bold, Alex Koyfman His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.
Fortune favors the bold,
His flagship service, Microcap Insider, provides market-beating insights into some of the fastest moving, highest profit-potential companies available for public trading on the U.S. and Canadian exchanges. With more than 5 years of track record to back it up, Microcap Insider is the choice for the growth-minded investor. Alex contributes his thoughts and insights regularly to Wealth Daily. To learn more about Alex, click here.