Vertical has selected Molicel to provide high-performance battery cells for the VX4 eVTOL aircraft
• Molicel is a leader in high-power lithium-ion cells with technology already in use across some of the most demanding applications, counting NASA and Williams Advanced Engineering as its clients
• Vertical and Molicel have entered into a strategic partnership that will combine Molicel’s leading cell
technology with Vertical’s proprietary battery pack design
London, UK; New York, USA & Taipei, Taiwan – July 2022
Vertical Aerospace (Vertical) [NYSE: EVTL], a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering
zero-emissions aviation, today announces a strategic partnership with E-One Moli Energy Corp (Molicel),
a leading manufacturer of lithium-ion cells, to supply high-power cylindrical cells for Vertical’s VX4 eVTOL
With today’s announcement, Vertical has now secured the supply of market-leading battery cells to develop the VX4 through to certification and entry into service, working with Molicel to increase supply as the VX4 is brought into mass production. Vertical reviewed the capabilities of dozens of cell manufacturers before selecting Molicel as its battery partner as it believes Molicel is uniquely placed to meet the performance and safety requirements of the VX4 and to continue to deliver innovation and improved performance over time.
With more than 40 years’ experience in energy research and development, Molicel has established itself as one of the world’s leading supplier of high-power battery cells. Specialising in high power, low impedance and fast charge, Molicel deliberately focuses on demanding, high-performance applications of its batteries, with its technology already in use across space, advanced automotive and power tool applications. Partners include NASA and William’s Advanced Engineering.
Battery cells, and the wider battery system, are critical components for the safety, performance and economics of the VX4.
Safety – Safe flight is non-negotiable and critical for our aircraft. Part of Vertical’s certification compliance
journey is proving the management of thermal runaway events and Molicel’s high-power cylindrical cell format is key this.
Performance – The VX4 needs high-performance cells to enable the range and payload Vertical’s customers demand. Molicel have the highest power and energy cylindrical cell in the world.
Economics – The VX4 battery system needs to be economic both as a component of the product and in
second-life applications. Molicel will help optimise the life cycle of the battery cell for eVTOL as well as other second-life applications.
Vertical and Molicel have established a joint working group to ensure the battery cells result in a system for the VX4 that is a safe, reliable and high-performance. The battery system will be certified concurrently with the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with Vertical targeting 2025 for entry into service.
In addition to their existing production annual capacity (1.6GWh), in Taipei, Molicel will open their second
Gigafactory in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 2023 (2GWh). The advanced manufacturing technology at these new
plants will not only enable mass production of cells for Vertical Aerospace, but its cell traceability approach will guarantee the consistency and quality required to meet aerospace standards.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder & CEO, Vertical Aerospace said “The future of electric aviation is dependent
on safe, high-performance battery systems and fundamental to this is the battery cells themselves. That’s
why I am delighted to be partnering with Molicel, producer of the world’s highest power cells. Molicel has a rich history of innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in energy storage. We see many similarities between ourselves and Molicel and we couldn’t think of a better partner to bring the VX4 to market.”
Dr Limhi Somerville, Head of Battery, Vertical Aerospace said “It has been a privilege to work alongside
the excellent Molicel team in testing, evaluating and analysing their lithium-ion cells. Both here and in
Taiwan. Through years of development their low resistance, high-power cells give us additional weight saving, charging and safety opportunities for the VX4 with minimal compromise to energy and lifetime. We look forward to working with them for many years to come in enabling certified propulsion battery systems in aerospace.”
Casey Shiue, President, E-One Moli Energy Corp (Molicel) said “We have long been known as the pioneers
of high power, low impedance, fast charge battery cell technology and have vast experience across a range of applications. We are on a mission to produce outstanding cells to drive the electric evolution and are very excited to enter this strategic partnership with Vertical Aerospace. We work with some of the best engineers in the world and have been immensely impressed by Vertical’s technical and engineering pedigree. We see our technology is a key enabler of safe and efficient flight, and we look forward to working with Vertical Aerospace to bring their revolutionary VX4 aircraft to the skies.”
About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems. Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book by value for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from global customers creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market. These customers are American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, Marubeni and Iberojet, as well as Japan Airlines (JAL), Gol, Gozen Holding and AirAsia, through Avolon’s VX4 placements. Vertical’s ordinary shares and warrants commenced trading on the NYSE in December 2021 under the tickers “EVTL” and “EVTLW,” respectively.
Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com
About VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
The four-passenger, one pilot VX4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over 100 miles, near-silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel.
With over 40 years’ rechargeable lithium-ion know-how and innovative technology research and development, MOLICEL® is famous for excellent power density product which presents high discharge and fast charge capability balanced with good energy density. The company has been recognized as first choice for world leading makers in applications such as sports car/motorcycle, VTOL, aerospace and heavy-duty tools.
MOLICEL®’s R&D and engineers holds core competences in material research, cell design and advanced
manufacturing along with testing capability. These four cornerstones make this medium size but tech-leading cell maker stands in a very competitive position in the market. MOLICEL® belongs to the energy business of Taiwan Cement Corporation (TCC). TCC is the first listing company in Taiwan stock market. The group has business units in the field of power plant, renewable energy and BESS.