Evolito Uses Axial-Flux Motors to Power Electric Aircraft
Evolito, a company formed by YASA, is ready to power the future of all-electric planes with its high-power and lightweight axial-flux motor.
Mercedes-Benz acquired the automotive rights to YASA, a U.K.-based axial-flux electric motor company, in 2021 to help Mercedes become all-electric by 2030.
Around the same time, YASA’s founders decided to take the aerospace version of the motor and create a new company, Evolito. Having previously partnered with Rolls-Royce to release the “Spirit of Innovation”, reportedly the world’s fastest all-electric plane, the team behind the motors sees promise in the rapidly growing electric flight market.
YASA and Rolls-Royce partnered to release the “Spirit of Innovation.” Image used courtesy of Rolls-Royce
Evolito axial-flux motors boast high efficiency and high power density in a light and compact design. The power electronics are smaller and more lightweight than competing designs, increasing the potential for supporting electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and urban air mobility (UAM).
Evolito axial-flux motor. Image used courtesy of Evolito
The challenge to overcome is that the electrification of flight is about a decade behind the automotive industry.
Alexis Zervoglos, a senior partner at Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), which is a lead investor in Evolito, says electric flight is a promising and quickly growing market. The team’s decade of experience working on electric cars provides a strong backing to its electric flight work.
We now think of electric cars as commonplace on the road, but 10 years ago they still seemed like a far stretch. Evolito hopes to fast-track commercial electric flight and alter the future of our travel experience, making electric planes just as prevalent as electric cars.
The push for expanding access to electric transportation also has large implications for sustainability. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that commercial planes and larger business jets account for 10 percent of U.S. transport emissions and 3 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An analysis by the Atmospheric Environment journal in 2021 determined that in 2011, 3.5 percent of anthropogenic (human-caused) warming was influenced by the climate impacts of the aviation industry.
Chris Harris, former YASA chief executive officer, will be taking over as Evolito CEO to help lead the company on its pursuit to commercialize electric flight. Evolito has acquired U.K. battery company Electroflight to offer fully electric powertrain solutions to eVTOL customers. It seems that the first use of commercial electric planes will be for short-haul flights.
Featured image used courtesy of Evolito