Oxford based electric flight pioneer Evolito acquires Cheltenham battery company Electroflight

The Spirit of Innovation
eVTOL_Evolito[2]

Evolito, a privately-owned company based in Kidlington near Oxford which designs and manufactures world-leading electric motors and controllers for aerospace applications, has bought the business and assets of Cheltenham-based aerospace battery company Electroflight.

Last year Evolito was spun out of Yasa, the pioneer of automotive axial-flux electric motors which was acquired by Mercedes-Benz last July, to exclusively commercialise Yasa’s next-generation electric motor technology and IP for the rapidly-growing aerospace market.

Evolito supplies high-performance, low-weight axial-flux motors and controllers that are smaller, lighter and with a higher safety factor than any other competing electric propulsion technology. Evolito’s products enable a range of new electric propulsion applications, helping to accelerate the industry’s move towards net zero.

Electroflight has a track record of delivering safety critical, innovative battery solutions for the electrification of the aerospace industry. Following the acquisition, Electroflight will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evolito and will focus on delivering next-generation battery technology to complement Evolito’s unique motors and controllers.

Ajay Lukha, Chief Commercial Officer at Evolito, said: “We are very excited to complete the acquisition of Electroflight today. The combined capabilities will enable us to deliver flexible solutions for our customers, from best-in-class motor and controller subsystems to fully-integrated electric powertrains.”

Evolito and Electroflight first collaborated on the Rolls Royce Spirit of Innovation project. Rolls-Royce believes that its all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft is the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, setting three new world records. During its record-breaking runs, the aircraft clocked up a maximum speed of 623 km/h (387.4 mph) which we believe makes the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

The aircraft was propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. Rolls Royce worked with Electroflight and Evolito. As well as a stunning technical achievement, the project and world record runs provided important data for Rolls Royce’s future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries, for instance, are very similar to what was developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’.

The ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is part of the ACCEL or ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ project. Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.

The ACCEL programme has also been supported by two further great British pioneers, Jaguar Land Rover who have loaned all-electric zero emission Jaguar I-PACE cars as towing and support vehicles and Bremont, the luxury watchmaker, who were the official timing partner for the record attempt. The aircraft took off from the MoD’s Boscombe Down site, which is managed by QinetiQ and flew profiles according to the FAI guidelines for record attempts in the Powered Aeroplane C-1C Electric class. Test Pilot, Electroflight Steve Jones flew the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft for the 15km and the time to climb to 3000 metres record runs that have been submitted.

Gary Elliott, CEO of the Aerospace Technology Institute, said: “The ACCEL project demonstrates that strategic investment in UK technology and innovation can achieve extraordinary world-beating results, and sets us firmly on the path to decarbonising passenger flight in the future. This achievement of Rolls-Royce, Electroflight and YASA will resonate for many years to come and inspire the next generation of aerospace engineers. They deserve their place in the record books, and the ATI is proud to have played our part in that. Congratulations to the whole team.”