H55 is shaping the future of electric aviation in the canton of Valais
24 January 2024
H55, a trailblazing company born from the Solar Impulse project, continues its impressive ascension in the realm of electric aviation.
2023 marked a significant milestone for H55, as the company successfully raised CHF 45 million, enabling them to further expand their activities in Switzerland and Canada. This financial boost is poised to increase their workforce to around 200 employees at their Sion site, a testament to their growing influence in the sector.
The company’s Executive Chairman, André Borschberg, has highlighted H55’s unique approach of not solely depending on venture capital. Instead, they focus on strategic partnerships with key industry players, like Raytheon, an American aerospace and defense company. This strategy has helped H55 in developing and integrating electric propulsion systems into future aircraft, notably the Bristell Energic, a two-seater plane designed by Czech company BRM Aero.
H55’s technological prowess lies in their electric motors and battery packs, which offer a flight autonomy of 90 minutes. Safety is paramount in their design, especially in preventing battery fires, a challenge acknowledged in the aviation industry.
The expansion in Canada is a strategic move, with H55 opening a new assembly site in Quebec, a project worth CHF 10 million. This international growth is not just a business expansion but also an alignment with global carbon neutrality goals, aiming to transform regional and eventually intercontinental flights.
H55’s journey is intertwined with significant partnerships and milestones. From teaming up with Pratt & Whitney for a hybrid-electric demonstrator program to providing battery technology for Harbour Air’s all-electric commercial airplane, the company’s trajectory is marked by innovation and strategic collaborations.
Their commitment to a sustainable future is clear, as Borschberg stated: “Our goal has always been to target regional commuter transportation,” aligning with the global aviation sector’s agreement to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This vision is backed by a strong political support from the canton of Valais, a key factor in their ongoing success and development.