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Battery Manufacturing Ramping Up for New Fleet of Electric Airplanes

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted April 28, 2023

Last month, I told you about United Airlines’ (NASDAQ: UAL), plans to launch its first air taxi route in Chicago, between O’Hare International Airport and Vertiport Chicago.

As I noted in that article, by the end of the decade, electric airplanes are expected to become quite common for short-haul flights of between 200 and 250 miles. 

Not only is United getting in on this, but JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU), American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL), Delta (NYSE: DAL), and Air France (OTCBB: AFLYY), have all committed to transitioning some of their short-haul planes to electric within the next ten years.

Now with the electric car space, once demand increased for these vehicles, so did demand for batteries.  The same will happen with electric planes, too.  So I was quite pleased to learn this week that Northvolt is now making batteries for electric planes.

If you’re unfamiliar, Northvolt is a Swedish battery company that has a joint venture with Norsk Hydro (OTCBB: NHYDY), to recycle battery materials and aluminum from electric vehicles. 

That joint venture, dubbed Hydrovolt, currently boasts the largest electric vehicle battery recycling plant in Europe, with enough operational capacity to process 12,000 tonnes of battery packs per year, which corresponds to roughly 25,000 EV batteries. By 2030, Hydrovolt expects to have enough recycling capacity to correspond to 500,000 tonnes of battery packs by 2030.

I suspect that some of this will trickle down to the aviation space now that Northvolt is actively seeking to provide batteries for electric airplanes, which of course bodes well for Norsk Hydro, which has a lot to gain from the Hydrovolt  joint venture.  


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