Electric air taxis face turbulence before take-off

Advances in batteries may help accelerate the widespread adoption of air taxis, with a shift from lithium-ion to a lighter battery made from pure lithium metal on the horizon.

Venkat Viswanathan, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, is developing such a battery in partnership with the US government’s Department of Energy and a battery maker.

He says that the battery will be more energy efficient, up to 30 per cent lighter than standard lithium-ion batteries, and enable air taxis to travel longer on one charge.

“Air taxis [will also be] cheaper to run because it becomes more energy efficient if your battery is lighter,” he adds.