Joby touts a 10,000 flight cycle eVTOL battery. Can it deliver?

During an IPO Edge webinar last week, Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt made a bold claim: that the company expects to get at least 10,000 flight cycles out of the lithium-ion batteries in its eVTOL air taxis, making the cost of replacing batteries “essentially insignificant” in the context of Joby’s overall operating economics…

Venkat Viswanathan, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University who last year analyzed Joby’s maximum range estimate for Forbes, finds Joby’s flight cycle claim to be credible.

“Batteries today can go somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 cycles with full charge,” he said. “Basically that 10,000 flight cycles simply means somewhere between 1,500 to 2,000 cycles on the battery pack, which is certainly doable with today’s battery technology.”

According to Viswanathan, “battery cycle life has been improving tremendously over the past few years,” so it’s reasonable to expect that cycle life estimates would have increased since Uber Elevate shared its cost calculations two years ago.