Why Didn’t You Think of That?
And the prize for most out-of-the box thinking about how to solve eVTOL’s battery-powered issues goes to… Karman Electric?
While practically every eVTOL manufacturer has been wrestling with how to develop a battery that can economically sustain their flying cars to lift off vertically and propel themselves forward long enough to reach their destinations, Karman Electric, a San Francisco, CA startup cofounded by Chiranjeev Kalra, is proposing connecting the flying cars to wired power sources—at least for the first 30 to 100 feet of altitude—something like a reverse streetcar. Once they’ve lifted off, the wires untether, retract, and return to ground via a drone allowing the vehicles to reach altitudes of up to 3,000 feet.
San Francisco’s famous trolley cars have been doing it for more than a century. Trains do it. Even long-haul truckers have toyed with the idea. With entry and departure points along the way, flying cars could power up and land at will coast to coast.
“It’s a completely open system,” Kalra told Wired magazine. The real question is: “Are flying car manufacturers, and those who would build these power points, willing to take the flying leap necessary to make it fly?”