The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

General Motors Hints at Offering Ultium Batteries for eVTOL Aircraft

General Motors has declined to elaborate on ambitions it appears to have to be a power source provider for eVTOL aircraft. Following comments this week by GM chief executive Mary Barra in which she hinted at plans to offer the U.S. group's new Ultium batteries to the aviation industry, a company spokesman declined to provide further details, beyond acknowledging that the company is evaluating the sector.

Speaking at the RBC Capital Markets conference on September 14, Barra commented: "We believe strongly in our EV [electric vehicle] future and not just for vehicles. The strength and flexibility of our Ultium battery system opens doors for many uses including aerial mobility."

GM unveiled the new Ultium range of batteries on March 4. These offer power ratings ranging between 50 and 200 kWh.

Generally speaking, U.S. automakers have been slow to declare plans to join the race to bring electric aircraft to market, by contrast with several Asia-based rivals. In January 2020, South Korea's Hyundai Motor announced that it has established an air mobility division to develop an eVTOL aircraft and at the same time was selected as a partner for Uber's planned Uber Air network. In the same month, Japan's Toyota led a $590 million fundraising round for U.S. eVTOL developer Joby Aviation, with a $394 million investment.