Looking to take advantage of the burgeoning air mobility sector, a group of postgraduate students from Purdue University has launched a software aerospace startup.
The startup, called Aerovy Mobility, is looking to grab a share of the forecasted $1.5 trillion electric-powered urban and regional aircraft market by 2040, according to a report from Morgan Stanley. The startup will focus on cloud-based software solutions to plan and operate infrastructure that charges electric aircraft with renewable energy.
Improvements in battery energy technologies have made electric propulsion technically feasible and economically viable, Purdue University said. Urban air mobility includes electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, regional air mobility and the use of traditional aircraft configurations that travel greater distances.
“The advances in electric propulsion make travel significantly less expensive: Fuel costs are lower and the aircraft may or may not be piloted,” said Nick Gunady, CEO of Aerovy Mobility. “These are two of the biggest costs to airlines. There is a huge potential with future mobility to spur economic development in underserved locations because of the reduced cost and difficulty to travel there.”
However, the U.S. power grid is not ready to handle energy spikes related to charging electric powered aircraft, especially during rush hour. Aerovy Mobility is looking to solve these power grid limitations with software solutions.
The proposed software identifies locations that would attract the most demand so operators can make back investments quickly while simultaneously assessing the expected usage over time, simulating charging events minute by minute throughout the day. This enables end users to reduce dependence on the grid.
The software automatically connects users with all the assets at infrastructure sites including chargers and off-grid energy systems.
“Customers will have full control over their infrastructure site without physically needing to be there,” Gunady said. “We have built automation tools to remotely connect with the aircraft, charge vehicles, minimize grid cost and dynamically price without any user input.”