Lilium GmbH, a German aerospace company developing the all-electric Lilium Jet, and Toray Industries Inc. Tokyo, Japan, the world’s leading manufacturer of carbon fiber, announced that the two companies have signed an agreement for the supply of higher performance carbon fiber composite.
The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300km in under 60 minutes. The aircraft’s primary structures, such as the fuselage, wings and flaps will all be made from carbon fiber.
Toray Industries is recognized as a global leader in aerospace materials and their carbon fiber products played a critical role in the success of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. “Securing this supply agreement marks an important step in the maturity of our supply chain and in our preparations for serial production,” commented Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO at Lilium.
In the first instance, the material will be supplied directly to Lilium for use in the production of further technology demonstrators, before being delivered directly to suppliers who will manufacture parts for prototypes and serial production.
The agreement also paves the way for further collaboration between the two companies, both in the provision of other high-performance materials and the establishment of research and development partnerships.
Commenting on the partnership, Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer, Lilium said: “Toray’s wealth of experience in the world of high-performance carbon fibers and composite materials speaks for itself and we’re proud to be counted amongst the aerospace companies they supply.
“We look forward to developing a close collaboration with Toray in the years ahead and to building a resilient and agile supply chain for the Lilium Jet, together with other well-established and reliable aerospace suppliers across different fields of technology.”
Discussing the partnership, Minoru Yoshinaga, Toray Senior Vice President, General Manager of Toray and Composites Division, said: “We are pleased to be selected as a partner by Lilium, one of the most promising companies in this emerging market sector.
“We look forward to working with Lilium to solve the environmental issues in urban areas, contributing by the power of materials.”
Lilium’s vision of air mobility encompasses a network of vertiports spread across an entire region, providing high-speed, point-to-point routes. Each additional vertiport added to the network would connect directly with all others within a 300km radius, leading to a fast scaling network that can provide regional connectivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional infrastructure such as high-speed trains. Lilium expects commercial operations to commence in 2025.
News of the partnership comes just weeks after Lilium confirmed it had welcomed Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s largest shareholder, as a new investor, bringing total funds raised to date to over $375m. The fresh funding will support the further development of the Lilium Jet as well as underpinning preparations for serial production in Lilium’s newly completed manufacturing facilities. It places Lilium amongst the top 20 most valuable startups in Germany.
A December 2018 study from Morgan Stanley suggested that the rapidly growing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) market could be worth as much as $1.5t by 2040, with $851b of that coming from the passenger market which Lilium targets.
Lilium is an aviation company developing an emissions-free regional air mobility service. It has designed and prototyped the Lilium Jet, a brand-new type of aircraft that will enable it to deliver regional journeys that are considerably faster than rail or road, yet competitive in price. The demonstrator aircraft first flew in May 2019 and is a five-seater, fully-electric aircraft that can take-off and land vertically (eVTOL). Lilium expects to service a sizable global market demand by connecting communities at a fraction of the cost of conventional high-speed infrastructure, with zero operating emissions.
Co-founded in 2015 by four visionary engineers, Daniel Wiegand (CEO), Sebastian Born, Matthias Meiner and Patrick Nathen, Lilium has attracted more than $375m in funding from world-class investors such as Atomico, Tencent, Baillie Gifford, LGT, Freigeist and Obvious Ventures. Lilium is headquartered in Munich and currently employs more than 450 people.
Toray is a leading global company in innovative technologies and advanced materials. Since its foundation in 1926, the Company has contributed to society through the creation of new value and addressed global challenges by delivering high value-added products including fibers and textiles, resins and films, and carbon fiber composite materials. It operates in 29 countries and regions with about 48,000 employees worldwide.