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Richard Wang told TAC last year that packaging lithium-metal cells for optimal performance and longevity requires specialized know-how, one reason why the company invested in developing a battery module specifically for aviation.

Safran and Cuberg bet on the future with a traditional business model

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Most of today’s leading manufacturers of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft have invested heavily in developing proprietary electric motor and battery technology. Even Archer Aviation, which has chosen to outsource 90% of its aircraft subsystems, is keeping powertrain development in-house. However, a new agreement between Safran and Cuberg reflects an expectation that this early industry strategy of vertical integration will become less popular as the electric aircraft market continues to evolve and scale.

Related: Archer plays the hare to Joby’s tortoise in eVTOL race

Safran Electrical & Power and Cuberg, a California-based subsidiary of the Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt, announced their teaming agreement on September 13. The parties intend to collaborate on development of an aviation energy storage system for future electric and hybrid aircraft, with Cuberg supplying advanced lithium-metal batteries while Safran manages high-voltage protection components, integration, certification and in-service support.

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