Bye Aerospace is a company based in Colorado. They have been working on electric personal planes for some time now. Their goal is make purely
personal aircraft capable of being used in place of piston powered equivalents, like the Cessna. They are planning on getting an aircraft purely
electric with double range of what is possible now with sparky planes. They even have a proof of concept aircraft. The secret sauce is the battery
tech from a company called Oxis Energy.
Oxis Energy has been working on improved Lithium-Sulfur batteries. This battery tech has been known since the 1960s. While the energy density is
good, no, not even just good, it's great! it has a problem with the lithium polysulfide cathodes dissolving away into the electrolytes. Oxis claims
they have a new secret electrolyte that preserves the cathodes for far, far longer. The other problem with LiS batteries is their tendency to catch
fire. It's some ugly chemistry in their. OTOH, Oxis claims they have solved this, too.
How much better is better for the claimed energy storage? The LiS batteries Oxis has supposedly pack a whopping 500 Wh/kg. In comparison, the Tesla
Model 3 batteries have an estimate between 168 Wh/kg to 250 Wh/kg. At worst, that's twice the energy density of Musk's current generation of Li-Ion
batteries. The other primary competitor to the Li-Ion battery was the Aluminum Ion battery, but it's energy density is only about 20% more than
Li-Ion. That said, the Al-Ion batteries are ridiculously safe with a demo by Stanford showing a drill go through a battery in use and no fires or
sparks. Still, Al-Ion has mass manufacturing problems, still.
I don't want to sound like a total debbie downer here, but the question becomes why hasn't Oxis been either bought out or selling its battery tech
to more than just Bye Aerospace? The military, transportation, even energy storage companies would be wildly all over this. And yet...there's very
little press on this. Even the announced partnerships on their website seem anemic.
So what is going on there? Is this actually a revolution? Or is this a dead end tech that has nontrivial problems Oxis isn't discussing? Or are we
seeing a faux breakthrough much like Moller?
Moller claimed, fwiw, he was working on flying cars and soaked up most of the capital available for that development. He kept claiming the flying car
was just around the corner and he needed just a little more money to be put in. He was sued multiple times and lost. Now there are others working in
that space and they have made far, far more progress than he ever did.
Oxis' tech has enormous potential. if it's real. The electric plane revolution could be big. The personal vertical flight regime could be even
bigger: pushing a 'flying car' to 100 km and an hour+ flight capability would be a big win for the business model. If the whole Oxis thing is