By Elan Head

An award-winning journalist, Elan is also a commercial helicopter pilot and an FAA Gold Seal flight instructor with helicopter and instrument ratings. Follow her on Twitter @elanhead

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EP Systems supplying batteries for Archer’s Maker eVTOL

Utah-based Electric Power (EP) Systems has confirmed that its legacy VersaPower battery system features on Archer’s Maker eVTOL demonstrator.

Archer Maker eVTOL EP Systems batteries
EP Systems (or EPS) is powering Archer’s uncrewed, two-seat Maker demonstrator, which will prove out key technologies on the path to a piloted, four-passenger electric air taxi. Archer Image

Details about the lithium-ion battery developer’s collaboration with Archer first emerged in June in the context of ongoing litigation between Archer and Wisk. In a declaration submitted by Archer’s attorneys, EP Systems CEO Nathan Millecam attested that his company began discussions with Archer in January 2020. Five months later, the parties entered into a development agreement that called for EP Systems to provide a “turn-key” solution for Archer’s high-power eVTOL battery system.

The version of the declaration filed in the public record is heavily redacted, with few details beyond the fact that the battery management units, battery modules, and cables provided to Archer are versions of EP Systems’ “already existing, off-the-shelf products.” Now, EP Systems has named those as VersaPower products — precursors to the EPiC family of lithium battery modules that it aims to certify with the Federal Aviation Administration for flight applications in 2022.

“VersaPower has been a game changer in driving advanced air mobility development forward,” EP Systems chief technology officer Michael Armstrong stated in a press release. “Its integration with Archer, Aurora, Embraer, and other flight vehicle systems has been instrumental in informing EP Systems’ transition to the next generation of safe, reliable, and cost-effective battery solutions.”

EP Systems said it now has more than 10 system integrations supporting electric flight, including the one on Embraer’s all-electric EMB-203 Ipanema, a fixed-wing testbed that recently began flight testing in São Paulo, Brazil.

“EP Systems has been gaining more experience with each and every flight of our battery systems,” commented vice president of product Michael Duffy. That experience has fed into development of the EPiC product line, which he said will be able to “fit into almost any future electric aircraft because of its modularity and flexibility.”

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