Last February/2013, Airbus announced that they were switching back to nickel-cadmium batteries for the A350 XWB as a risk-reduction strategy, but insisted the change will not affect EIS-entry into service dates.
Airbus and Saft are embarked on "additional maturity studies" focusing on lithium-ion battery behaviour.
The flight-test aircraft are being equipped with lithium-ion batteries but Airbus will pursue a certification program with nickel-cadmium batteries for production aircraft, the first of which are due to be delivered in the second half of 2014. It is planned to equip with nickel-cadmium batteries the first 3 batches until MSN20. The current Ni-Cd battery of the A380, manufactured by Saft as well as the Li-io batteries, is being adapted to fit the first series aircraft which will require specific electrical architecture changes.
Lithium-ion battery weight is 30,2Kg.
Meanwhile, Airbus expect that the still-unexplained incidents involving lithium-ion batteries on the Boeing 787 are clarified, identifying the root cause of the 2 incidents occurring on Japanese 787s which resulted in the 787 fleet being grounded for more than 3 months.
Based on the article “Airbus to ditch lithium-ion batteries on A350” published in FlightGlobal