Hinetics and Natrion Featured in Axios

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Posted on: February 27, 2024

EnterpriseWorks startups Hinetics and Natrion were recently featured in Axios for driving the progression of the electric aviation industry.

Electric planes capable of long-haul flights are coming closer to reality, with a focus on developing advanced batteries and motors. The leading pioneers in this area are Natrion and Hinetics, both EnterpriseWorks startups.

With the development of a new generation of batteries beyond those used to power the electric cars of today, smaller electric aircraft and air taxis may be available as early as 2025. However, the ultimate goal is to electrify larger planes for conventional airport operations. The work of Hinetics and Natrion support this, as both are engineering high-efficiency electric applications to be used in aviation.

“To fly an airplane you need two big things: power to propel them forward and energy to keep them flying for a long duration,” says Kiruba Haran, founder and CTO of Hinetics.

Haran is focusing on superconducting motors that can generate megawatts of power to propel jets. Superconducting materials have no resistance, minimal heat loss and can carry more current, meaning less material — and less weight.

Superconducting materials hold the promise of being “very efficient, very lightweight, power dense,” says Haran.

Natrion is developing solid-state batteries that can tolerate much higher temperatures, making them safer than traditional lithium-ion batteries. This is enhancing safety and performance in aircraft applications. They also charge faster.

Together, the innovations from Hinetics and Natrion are shaping the future of electric aviation, promising cleaner and more sustainable air travel. As smaller electric aircraft and air taxis come closer to commercial viability, the end goal remains the electrification of larger planes for commercial flight. With the expertise and dedication of companies like Hinetics and Natrion, the future of a greener and more efficient aviation industry is looking bright.

Hinetics located to EnterpriseWorks in 2019 after becoming members of the POETS Engineering Research Center. This partnership gave Hinetics access to extensive prototyping and testing facilities within POETS, and more broadly, across the whole University of Illinois campus. With its commitment to minimizing carbon emissions, the start-up has demonstrated groundbreaking work, earning recent funding from several notable organizations including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States Air Force, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Energy. The team at Hinetics is turning the future of clean energy into a reality.

Natrion located to EnterpriseWorks in 2018, and is developing battery technologies that can push the capabilities of EVs by solving the biggest issues that automakers and battery manufacturers face. Its mission is to service the industry with solutions that will enhance the mainstream market viability of electric vehicles and advance the world closer to a future of clean mobility.

Read more on the Axios webpage.