Cuberg aviation battery systems announcement earns widespread media attention

On April 25th, 2023, Northvolt and subsidiary Cuberg revealed their initiative to enable electric aviation operators and manufacturers with reliable, high-performance and sustainable battery systems.

Cuberg disclosed significant program milestones, including building and shipping next-generation 20 Ah cells with specific energy of 405 Wh/kg, engineering and producing a module and achieving passive propagation resistance.

The significance of this announcement was immediately evident to business, science and aviation media outlets. Cuberg’s published battery performance metrics are among the industry’s best, and no other high-performance electric aviation program is backed by a manufacturer at the scale of Northvolt.

Read on to learn more about how this announcement was covered by media organizations worldwide.

Bloomberg: Sweden’s Northvolt to Make Batteries for Electric Planes by Rafaela Lindeberg. Cuberg was already working on aviation battery systems when it was acquired by Northvolt two years ago. The deal gave the startup access to its Swedish parent’s experience with battery systems and packs, opening opportunities in a developing market for electric-powered air travel that could reach tens of billions of dollars by 2030, Cuberg CEO Richard Wang said.

“Between our battery cell and battery systems people, we probably have perhaps the largest and best resourced aviation battery strategy in the world,” Wang said.

Reuters: Sweden's Northvolt to develop batteries for electric planes. Swedish battery producer Northvolt said on Tuesday its U.S. subsidiary Cuberg has begun developing lithium metal batteries for electric airplanes designed to cut carbon emissions.

While the aviation industry has sought to make more fuel-efficient designs, the heavy weight of traditional lithium-ion batteries has prevented aircraft makers from following in the footsteps of car companies in building electric engines.

The Naked Scientists Podcast, as aired on BBC 5: Building a better battery by Chris Smith.

Suppose, then, we find ourselves in a future of quick charging, high output, low degradation batteries. What avenues could that technology unlock? We already have battery powered cars and boats. But what about planes? Could we be charging off to a holiday destination in a battery powered airliner any time soon? Well that’s the thinking of the company Cuberg, a battery company based in California. Their founder is Richard Wang…

Aviation Today: Batteries for Electric Aviation: A Q&A With the CEO of Cuberg by Jessica Reed

“Northvolt has really bought into the vision of developing advanced batteries for aviation,” Wang shared with Avionics. “Given their strong support, we've now grown to about 150 people. By the end of this year, [we will] probably grow to almost 250 people. I see Cuberg (and Northvolt) becoming the single most sophisticated and well-resourced battery development organization for aviation.”

He noted that Cuberg is now able to leverage some substantial investments from Northvolt. “They're investing in this because this is also their future technology roadmap—to deploy to much higher-volume automotive markets. When aviation companies talk about how to leverage the investments and technology of the automotive world to benefit electric aviation and battery technology, I think this is probably one of the most direct manifestations of how leveraging automotive momentum, resources, and capabilities can enable electric aviation to go much, much faster.”

The Air Current: Goop, gulp and glow: Imagining the paths to a 1,000 Wh/kg battery by Elan Head.

“All of the certification requirements and ensuring safety and reliability happen at that module and pack level in terms of ensuring resistance to thermal runaway, ensuring that you’re managing the cells appropriately,” Cuberg CEO Richard Wang explained to TAC. When it comes to how to package cells for optimal performance and longevity, next-gen chemistries like lithium- metal differ in some important ways from conventional lithium-ion chemistries, and “we found that we have developed much more knowledge internally for how to get the most out of our battery cells,” he said.

The Next Web: Northvolt targets zero-emission aviation with ‘superior’ lithium metal battery by Linnea Ahlgren.

Swedish low-carbon battery startup Northvolt is on a bit of a roll lately. Recently, the company revealed a new collaboration with Scania to produce the longest lasting EV batteries on the market. Now, its wholly-owned subsidiary Cuberg has unveiled a program to develop high-performance batteries to achieve “safe and sustainable” electric flight.

eVTOL Insights: Northvolt subsidiary Cuberg reveals development programme for aviation battery systems by Boris Sedacca.

Peter Carlsson, CEO and co-founder of Northvolt, commented: “With our aviation systems program, we will leverage Cuberg’s next-generation lithium metal cell technology together with our battery manufacturing experience to bring end-to-end energy solutions to the skies.”

Cuberg technology uses a lithium metal anode and proprietary liquid electrolyte to simultaneously solve the interlocking challenges of battery performance and manufacturability.

CleanTechnica: Northvolt & Cuberg Unveil Batteries Designed For Electric Aircraft by Steve Hanley.

At 280 Wh/kg, it is up to 40% higher than comparable modules based on lithium-ion technology. This significant improvement translates into increased flight range, which in turn enables new use cases for electric and hybrid aviation. Some operators could see their practical range more than double, depending on their aircraft and powertrain design.

Cuberg’s announcement was also covered by Electrive, Vertical Magazine, Batteries News, Aviation Week, Electrek, and the newsletter for the AllPlane podcast among others.

Follow Cuberg on LinkedIn to keep up with press coverage and other updates!