Lilium is a German manufacturer that claims to have developed a unique eVTOL jet, sporting 36 propellers on the front and rear, plus a proprietary Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (DEVT) technology. The Lilium jet’s basic configuration is that of an air taxi that can carry up to six passengers.
But it also can be configured as a luxury private jet, boasting a premium cabin with exclusive fabrics and multiple customizations. That’s because this luxurious version will only be launched as a limited edition, and accessible only to wealthy folks in the UK. eVolare, a subsidiary of one of the biggest private jet and helicopter operators in the UK, will bring the stylish “Lilium Pioneer Edition Jet” to the market, with only 50 units up for grabs, starting 2025.
However, even in the standard configuration, the Lilium jet claims to top others in terms of performance. The German manufacturer has been working for some years now with Customcells, a battery technology expert, and they’re now ready to reach mass production.
Customcells is gearing up to start producing thousands of battery cells for the Lilium jet per year, at its facility in Tubingen, Germany, and be able to keep up with weekly deliveries.
Lilium says that its eVTOL will feature top-notch batteries, with greater energy and power density, as well a higher cycle life. This is mostly owed to an exclusive technology coming from Ionblox.
Recent independent testing apparently confirmed that these battery prototypes, developed specifically for the Liliul eVTOL jet, scored a higher energy retention percentage after 800 charging cycles (88% compared to the 80% target).
Customcells’ production technology will add its own benefits, such as a pre-lithiation process, where extra lithium is added in order to make up for the lithium losses during the first cycle.
Lilium and Customcells are now adapting the whole process for large-scale quantities, mainly through automation. By the end of the year, Lilium will kick off production for the type-conforming eVTOL jet, which is expected to take to the sky in the second half of 2024 (only for piloted test flights).
The future electric jet will also sport a pilot interface that’s custom-made by Collins Aerospace, and a dedicated EWIS (electric wiring interconnection systems) solution by GKN Aerospace.