May 20, 2024

United invests in electric power to support decarbonisation

United has invested in Electric Power Systems (EPS) to support its decarbonisation goals.

EPS produces battery technology for aerospace applications, which can be adapted to support a variety of batteries, removing the need to  manufacture new batteries. 

EPS aims to provide a whole battery ‘ecosystem’ for aviation, from the packs on aircraft to charging stations on the ground.

This in turn is designed to keep costs low and provide rapid charges without degrading the life of the battery.

United is also exploring options to move its pilot training academy, Aviate, away from internal combustion-powered training aircraft to electric ones, with the help of EPS. 

Additionally, United has more than 12,000 pieces of motorised ground equipment across its operations, of which about one third are currently electric. EPS’s battery modules could potentially support several uses, including:

  • Charging electric ground equipment
  • Charging anticipated future electric aircraft such as electric air taxis
  • Electrified auxiliary power unit (APU) start products
  • Electrified cold-chain storage product for cargo containers.

United Airlines also announced this week that its Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund has increased its investment power to nearly $200 million and added eight new corporate partners, five months after launching.

American Express Global Business Travel, Aramco Ventures, Aviation Capital Group, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Groupe ADP, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue Ventures join inaugural fund partners Air Canada, Boeing, GE Aerospace, JPMorgan Chase, and Honeywell.