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USA: Battery Ruling Could Harm Electric Aircraft Growth

December 29, 2011 – EAA and the Electric Aircraft Development Alliance (EADA) are opposing a proposed Department of State rule that would place strict restrictions on the types of lithium-ion batteries that would be available on the commercial market-place. EAA submitted comments to the State Department explaining that such limits could greatly hamper the further development of electric aircraft that has emerged in recent years.

The intent of the proposed State Department rule is to limit import/export of products that could be used for military purposes. EAA and EADA determined, however, that the proposed restriction would reduce access to the primary power-source technology in electric aircraft, as well as the expanding electric auto industry.

“Lithium-based batteries have been on the commercial market place for well over 20 years and are currently being used in electric-powered radio-controlled model aircraft, electric and/or hybrid automobiles rail systems, and electric aircraft.” wrote Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director, in EAA’s comments to the State Department. “These batteries hold the key to the continuing revolutionary changes that are being made daily to all industries, especially electric aircraft, and that development should not be hindered by the unintended consequences this proposed rule would impose.”

EADA, an international alliance of electric flight interests ranging from kit aircraft manufacturers and multinational corporations to engineers and pilots, also filed comments in opposition to the rule.

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