North Carolina breaks ground on BETA-designed aircraft chargers


North Carolina book ground last week on the first electric aircraft chargers in the state.

The multimodal chargers, designed by BETA, support the charging of electric aircraft, cars and trucks at the airport. The charging stations are being installed at Raleigh Executive Jetport in Sanford and will be come online by first quarter of 2024.

BETA will oversee the installation, which will include a Level-3 fast-charge Charge Cube, which will charge electric aircraft in under an hour, and an accompanying Charge Center for crew rest time. The site will also include a Level 2 car charger, which will be installed in the airport’s parking lot.

“Investing in sustainable aviation is a clear next step for North Carolina, the First in Flight State, as we continue to be a leader in aerospace and multimodal transportation innovation,” said state Transportation Secretary Joey Hopkins.

Bob Heuts, director for Raleigh Executive Jetport, said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the project, because innovations like this BETA-designed charging station and electrifying transportation are real priorities for us. Since this airport was built more than two decades ago, it’s been our history to be on the leading edge of important trends.”

These new chargers in North Carolina will form part of a national network of charging stations BETA is building to enable electric flight. Friday’s groundbreaking event also featured one of BETA’s aircraft, the ALIA CTOL (conventional takeoff and landing electric). It stopped in North Carolina during its 1,500 mile flight down the East Coast.

Blain Newton, BETA’s COO, added: “The future of transportation is electric, and as we look to make this new technology a widespread reality in aviation, forward-leaning partners and investment in infrastructure will be critical. We have certainly found that in North Carolina. We are excited to have been able to fly our all-electric ALIA aircraft into Raleigh Executive Jetport from Burlington, Vermont, and chargers like the ones we will install together are what will power these types of missions in the future. This state has always been a first mover in aviation, so it’s no surprise that we’ve found support for the next generation of sustainable aviation solutions, too.”

The groundbreaking comes on the back of last week’s news that BETA could potentially receive $100m-plus in financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. According to a notice in the Federal Register, originally reported TAC, the cash, which is subject to a comment period and final decision by the EXIM Board, will be used to finance a BETA manufacturing facility under the Make More in America initiative — which focuses on helping domestic small and medium enterprises gain global market entry, particularly in areas related to national defence.