Author: Clare Le

The Highest-Capacity Electric Aircraft Ever Flown Held First Public Test Flight in the Skies Above Southern California on Thursday, Paving the Way for Ampaire Inc. to Have Regular Commercial Service for Passengers and Cargo as Soon as 2021

Aviation Company Ampaire, Inc., Helps Further Cement Los Angeles as the Center of Innovation on Transportation Electrification

Camarillo, California, June 6, 2019.  Ampaire, Inc. has moved the aviation industry a major step forward with the test flight of the Ampaire 337, the highest-capacity hybrid-electric aircraft ever flown. On Thursday, June 6, Ampaire engineers, investors and journalists witnessed the hybrid-electric Ampaire 337 fly in the skies above Camarillo Airport.

This is a significant step for aviation because never before has a hybrid-electric aircraft this large flown. Ampaire’s 337 is built with a direct path towards commercialization—moving electric aviation firmly from futuristic to attainable.

The aircraft, based on the six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster, was retrofitted with Ampaire’s proprietary electric propulsion system and is powered by a lightweight battery system. The battery-powered electric motor replaces a combustion engine of the aircraft’s original two-engine configuration, and the resulting system is a ‘parallel hybrid’, meaning the internal combustion engine and electric motor work in concert to optimize power output as the plane flies. In hybrid configuration, the aircraft sees significant greenhouse gas emissions savings and operating cost reductions. The experimental plane was flown by a test pilot and flight engineer.

“The first flight of Ampaire’s electric passenger aircraft is a huge step forward for aviation,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports. “As a cleantech company that was started in our great city as part of LACI, Ampaire’s incredible achievement further cements Los Angeles as the leader in transportation electrification and technology innovation.”

“Imagine that in just a few years you will be able to buy a ticket for a flight that is clean, quiet and inexpensive,” said Kevin Noertker, CEO of Ampaire. “Ampaire is proud to lead the aviation industry in transportation electrification, and we recognize the importance of electric aviation for climate change and community connectivity.”  

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, today’s historic flight not only signifies a huge step forward for aviation, it also shines a light on Los Angeles’s leadership in transportation electrification,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). “That’s why I’m so excited for the Ampaire team for their first hybrid-electric flight—as a LACI portfolio company, Ampaire and their Ampaire 337 flight test program further proves that Los Angeles is a cleantech hub that attracts investment and game-changing innovation for climate solutions.”

“Flight is becoming electric and this is the most incredible team to make that happen! Ampaire’s approach is one of the many reasons we chose to support them through our accelerator program,” said Van Espahbodi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Starburst Accelerator. “We see tremendous potential in their business model, and we’re excited to see them achieve this significant technical milestone.”

Aircraft are a significant contributor to both local and global emissions. Electric and hybrid-electric aircraft will reduce GHG emissions and air pollution even as more and more goods and people fly. In addition, electric aircraft are quieter, more efficient and cost much less to fly and maintain connecting communities, making skies quieter.  

Ampaire has mapped a clear path from today’s first test flight of a prototype to commercial operations in 2021. Thursday’s test flight follows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) May 2019 airworthiness approval to begin a flight test program. The test flights will see the aircraft fly multiple times per week from June through August 2019 and will gather data about the electric propulsion performance characteristics.

In late 2019, Ampaire will begin a pilot project on a commercial route on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The aircraft will be a newly retrofitted Cessna 337 built with learnings from the test flight program that inform the configuration of the battery and motor. This aircraft will be a pre-production prototype and will move Ampaire closer to commercial readiness.

Ampaire’s focus is on supplying aircraft to regional airlines— who typically fly short-haul—often serving remote communities and island regions. In addition to the upcoming pilot project in Maui, Ampaire is also in collaboration with Vieques Air Link (VAL), a regional airline in Puerto Rico, to establish a pilot project in the region. Alongside Mokulele Airlines and VAL, Ampaire has signed Letters of Interest with 14 other airlines across the world.

About Ampaire
Ampaire is leading the charge in aircraft electrification. The Los Angeles based company is on a mission to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical and compelling electric aircraft. To start, Ampaire is retrofitting existing passenger aircraft to electric. It’s the leanest, fastest, most capital efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality. As a LACI portfolio company, Ampaire has its roots in Los Angeles. Ampaire’s vision is to make flights more accessible to more people from more airports by providing electric aircraft that are safe, clean, quiet, and less costly to operate.

For interview requests, please contact Brice Nzeukou.
Video and photography for publication are here.

Contact
Brice Nzeukou
520-834-4706
brice@ampaire.com 

Sarah Bryce
424-362-9462
sarah@laci.org

Press Release – Mayor Eric Garcetti and LACI Announce First Cohort for New Impact Acceleration Program for Small Businesses and Startups in City of Los Angeles

13 Small Business and Startup Founders from Low Income Neighborhoods and Underrepresented Populations Participate in Inaugural Founders Business Accelerator Program Created with the City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, May 30, 2019. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) announces the first cohort of 13 small business founders selected to participate in the Founders Business Accelerator (FBA), a small business and startup acceleration program to help underrepresented small business and startup founders in low income neighborhoods in Los Angeles grow their business and increase their community, social and environmental impact.

“Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy—job creators that share Los Angeles’ innovative spirit with the world,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Working together with LACI, we’re ensuring small business owners have the tools they need to reach new markets, grow their bottom-line and thrive.”

The FBA program will help business founders grow their businesses by pairing them with mentors to refine their goals, finances and strategies, as well as provide up to $5,000 in legal, human resources and marketing consulting services. Additionally, founders will learn how to create and increase their business’ community, environmental and social impact.

“Many of the diverse business owners we encounter are poised to grow exponentially, given the right know-how, mentoring, facilities and network,” said Sonya Blake, Director of Community Business in the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. “The vibrant ecosystem the City has built at LACI is exactly what these small businesses need to succeed.”

“Los Angeles is creating opportunities to give small businesses the tools they need to thrive and revitalize communities,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “By investing in our small business owners through the Founders Business Accelerator program, we’re helping promote job growth, enhancing our local economy and ensuring that our entrepreneurs succeed.”

“I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and I believe that small businesses are central to the health and well-being of our communities,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “I am proud to support the Founders Business Accelerator, which helps founders increase their social, economic and environmental impact. I know that with a little expert training and guidance, the incredible entrepreneurs from South L.A. and across this region can make their businesses really soar.”

“From leading the development of the City’s business portal to creating the Small Business Academy—supporting small, women and minority owned businesses has been a strong focus of my work throughout my career,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “I am proud to support the Founders Business Accelerator—this program is an innovative way to create good jobs and put more resources back into our communities.”

The first workshop of the FBA program was held on May 11, 2019 and the program runs through July 2019. LACI vetted almost 200 applications for the first cohort, illustrating the opportunity and interest amongst small business founders in L.A. Applicants were accepted to the program based on ability to scale, commitment to social and environmental impact and their company’s business model. All the founders live and have their businesses located in the City of Los Angeles.

“Many people know LACI for our work with cleantech startups—now thanks to the City of Los Angeles, we are honored to offer business accelerator services to small businesses and early stage startup founders in neighborhoods across the city,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “We are excited to work with this first cohort of founders to help them increase their impact, create a sustainable business model and access capital.”

The first cohort of businesses includes:

The Founders Business Accelerator is a free program designed to help small businesses grow, prompted by the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. It is funded by the Community Development Block Grant funding via the Economic and Workforce Development Department. Additional support was provided by Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Monica Rodriguez to recruit applicants and support the program.

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a City of Los Angeles-established nonprofit organization, is creating an inclusive green economy by: unlocking innovation through working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators and market leaders in transportation, energy and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past seven years, LACI has helped 78 portfolio companies raise $221M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,750 jobs, and deliver more than $393M in long term economic value. Learn more at laci.org

Contact

Sarah Bryce
424.362.9462
sarah@laci.org

Press Release – LACI Announces New Workforce Development Program for Green Job Training – Participants Will Learn Job Skills and Train with Startups for On-the-Job Experience

Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator Opens Call for Applications for Advanced Prototyping Center Fellowship Program to Bring Under-Represented Groups Into the Cleantech Sector

Los Angeles, May 21, 2019. The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) has opened their call for applications to the Advanced Prototyping Center (APC) Fellowship Program.  Applicants must apply by May 24, and commit to attending the Career Exploration Day on June 7 at the APC, and be at least 18 years old. For more information and to apply visit laincubator.org/apcfellowship/

Participants will gain both technical and interpersonal skills in addition to industry-recognized credentials. Upon acceptance to the program, 30 participants will attend a two-week training ‘bootcamp’, culminating in a career fair with cleantech startups. Then 12-15 successful participants will complete a three-month internship with a cleantech startup or LACI Portfolio Company. 

The APC Fellowship Program will help create a green jobs pipeline for both participants and LACI start up companies. The program also supports Mayor Garcetti’s recently-launched Green New Deal L.A./Sustainable City pLAn which set a goal of 300,000 green jobs by 2035 and 400,000 by 2050.

“In order to build a truly inclusive green economy, we have to ensure that everyone has the skills and abilities to access green jobs”, said Matt Petersen, CEO of LACI. “We are grateful for the support of our partners at the Wells Fargo Foundation and Annenberg Foundation and also the support of our legislators Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and Senator Maria Elena Durazo. Over the past seven years, LACI’s programs and startups have created over 2,000 green jobs, yet we know we need to do more to create opportunities for everyone to join the cleantech economy.”

Participants in the APC Workforce Development program will not only work in state-of-the-art facilities, they will also be trained and mentored by an experienced job coach and machine shop tech. They will be introduced to the ecosystem of cleantech startups at the LaKretz Innovation Campus and to the LACI Portfolio Companies to ensure employment success and longevity in the green economy.

About the Advanced Prototyping Center

The LACI Advanced Prototyping Center (APC) is made possible by the LA Department of Water and Power & U.S. Economic Development Agency. The APC a world-class facility with advanced prototyping and industrial equipment , chemistry and electronics labs, 3D printing, and other machinery that is managed by LACI expert staff who are ready to share and teach their skills. A community of entrepreneurs, artists, inventors and startups working in a state-of-the-art collaborative workspace, APC capabilities include a waterjet, CNC mill, CNC lathe, 3D and Roland large format printing, and more. Find out more at laci.org/apc

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a nonprofit organization, is creating an inclusive green economy by: unlocking innovation through working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, transforming markets through partnerships with policymakers, innovators and market leaders in transportation, energy and sustainable cities; and enhancing communities through workforce development, pilots and other programs. Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past seven years, LACI has helped 78 portfolio companies raise $221M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,750 jobs, and deliver more than $393M in long term economic value. Learn more at laci.org

Contact
Sarah Bryce
424.362.9462
sarah@laci.org

Press Release – Mayor Garcetti Announces Zero Emissions Mobility Pilot Fund with LACI to Advance L.A.’s Green New Deal and Emissions Goals throughout the L.A. Region

EV Scooter and Charging Pilots from LACI and LADWP Showcased at LKIC; TEP Marks One Year Anniversary with Announcement of New Partners Audi, Nissan and Proterra

Los Angeles, May 2, 2019. Fresh from his announcement for a Green New Deal for Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti joined the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP) to showcase innovation in L.A. to help accomplish the ambitious goals he set out earlier this week.

Mayor Garcetti helped announce a new mobility pilot program for clean air, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and bringing the benefits of the green economy to disadvantaged communities. The Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund will dedicate at least $300,000 for proposed solutions—along with technical assistance from LACI and TEP partners—in three disadvantaged communities in the City and County of Los Angeles. Proposals from communities as well as mobility solution providers will be accepted starting today.

The Mayor also showcased zero emissions mobility pilot projects installed by LACI and LADWP at the La Kretz Innovation Campus which is a living lab for new technologies. LADWP proposed the idea and provided funding for these solutions, including EV scooters and charging solutions from LACI portfolio companies CLEVR (i.e., ‘scooter SUV’), FreeWire (i.e., mobile EV charging), MOEV (i.e., EV charging power control), Perch Mobility (i.e., scooter/e-bike charging logistics solution) along with TEP partner BMW (i.e., the first North American pilot of their BMW Motorrad X2City kick-scooter).

“We cannot wait another moment to fight the climate crisis with everything at our disposal—and that starts with lower emissions and more options on our roads and rail lines,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund will help us meet the goals of L.A.’s Green New Deal by delivering creative solutions to cut pollution, spur innovation, and make good on our commitment to environmental justice in every community.”

“Piloting zero emissions mobility solutions that help meet the needs of disadvantaged communities while reducing air pollution and GHGs is key to meeting the targets in the TEP 2028 Roadmap,” said LACI CEO Matt Petersen. “Today, we are proud today to shine a light on some of the amazing LACI startup companies and partners who are helping the Mayor meet the goals in his updated Sustainable City pLAn.”

“CARB is proud to be a Transportation Electrification Partner with the City of Los Angeles: We need all hands on deck to turn the supertanker around,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “The challenge we face is to transform the entire transportation sector, and to do it in a thoughtful way at an aggressive pace. This investment in innovative mobility options will provide significant benefits for communities of concern and important lessons to expand these and similar programs throughout the city, and the state.”

“Working together we can all make a difference in fighting air pollution and combating climate change. That’s why it’s important to engage our customers in the communities they live and drive in,” said David Wright, LADWP’s General Manager. “This program will help spur even more innovative ideas to get more people out of their gas-guzzling and polluting cars and into clean-air EVs.”

In addition, global innovators Nissan North America, Audi and Proterra were announced today as TEP’s newest members, representing an investment in L.A. as well as a commitment to zero emissions transportation. These companies join 20 other TEP partners, including Mayor Garcetti, CARB, SCE, DWP, Metro, County of L.A., BMW, PCS Energy, Itron and others.

The Zero Emissions Mobility and Community Pilot Project Fund will be deployed in disadvantaged communities throughout the City and County of Los Angeles in areas that need zero emission mobility solutions and reduced air pollution and co-benefits such as workforce and economic development. The Pilot Project Fund is supported by funds from TEP partners along with the State of California’s California Workforce Development Board (CWDB). Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and California Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus Kevin de León were key champions to help LACI secure the CWDB funding in 2018.

About the Transportation Electrification Partnership

The Transportation Electrification Partnership (TEP), formed by LACI in May 2018, is an unprecedented multi-year partnership among local, regional, and state stakeholders to accelerate progress towards transportation electrification and zero emissions goods movement in the Greater L.A. region in advance of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games. TEP released the Zero Emissions 2028 Roadmap in September 2018 focusing on actions needed to achieve the shared goal of 25% additional reductions in GHGs and air pollution. The TEP Leadership Group includes the Mayor of L.A., County of Los Angeles, CARB, LADWP, SCE, Metro, and LACI.

About LACI

The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), a private nonprofit organization, is creating an inclusive green economy by unlocking innovation (through working with startups to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies), transforming markets (through partnerships in transportation, energy and sustainable cities) and enhancing communities (through workforce development, pilots and other programs). Founded as an economic development initiative by the City of Los Angeles and its Department of Water & Power (LADWP), LACI is recognized as one of the most innovative business incubators in the world by UBI. In the past seven years, LACI has helped 78 portfolio companies raise $221M in funding, $220M in revenue, create 1,750 jobs, and deliver more than $393M in long term economic value. Learn more at laci.org

Contact
Sarah Bryce
424.362.9462
sarah@laci.org