December 1, 2022: The investment arm of United Airlines has made an undisclosed investment in sodium ion batteries developer Natron Energy to help electrify the carrier’s airport ground equipment, the companies announced on November 30.
Natron plans to use the funds from United Airlines Ventures to accelerate production in Michigan, where it plans to start mass production of UL-listed sodium ion batteries in 2023.
“Natron’s sodium-ion batteries will help the aviation industry achieve its decarbonization and EV goals,” said CEO Colin Wessells.
“Our batteries provide the high power over short distances that ground service equipment needs, and unlike lithium ion, Natron’s batteries are completely non-flammable and can be safely deployed in ground service operations.”
Natron said in May that it was teaming up with lead battery giant Clarios, whose Meadowbrook plant in Michigan was set to become “the world’s largest sodium ion battery plant when mass production begins in 2023”.