Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Kite Magnetics

Lighter motors bring us one step closer to electric planes


A novel magnetic material is paving the way for more efficient, emissions-free electric motors

Spotted: On the whole, international travel is nearly back to where it was before the pandemic, which also means that aviation industry emissions have climbed back up too, reaching nearly 800 metric tonnes of CO2 in 2022, or 80 per cent of pre-COVID levels. Australian company Kite Magnetics is working with a newly developed magnetic material with the anticipation of making a groundbreaking achievement in aviation by the decade’s end. The breakthrough aims to slash the size and weight of electric motors by half, revolutionising the aviation sector’s pursuit of decarbonisation.

The material, called Aeroperm, is the world’s highest flux density nanocrystalline. Think of it as a kitchen-foil lookalike that’s made mostly from iron, yielding a super strong magnetic field. Using this technology combined with advanced manufacturing methods, Kite Magnetics can create a high-performance electric motor that’s more efficient and reliable, as well as lighter, quieter, and cheaper. And, above all, it will produce zero emissions to enable green aviation.

Beyond air transport, the company envisions the potential to create electric motors for a wide range of applications, spanning from hypercars to vacuums. However, Kite Magnetics identified its biggest need was for electrical aviation, an area generally recognised as being far away from achieving green long-haul flights due to limited energy battery density.

In October 2022, the startup announced AU$1.85 million (around €1.1 million) in seed funding, with lead investor Investible, Climate Tech Fund, Galileo Ventures, and Breakthrough Victoria. Last year, Kite announced its first product, the KM-120, at the 2023 Avalon Airshow.

Springwise has recently spotted other innovators in the library that hope to make the aviation industry cleaner, from one company using liquid hydrogen to power aircraft to a zero-emission electric plane.

Written By: Georgia King




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