United Airlines, an American airline, has invested nearly 15 million dollars to acquire several hundred electric air taxis with Eve Air Mobility. This start-up specializing in the production of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is one of the subsidiaries of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer.
A partnership for United Airlines to develop its flying taxi service
The American airline announced that it had invested the sum of 15 million dollars in order to buy 200 eVTOL produced by Eve Air Mobility. This is United Airlines’ second investment in electric air mobility after investing $10 million in Archer last month to acquire, there too, a hundred electric flying taxis.
Whether it is Archer or Eve Air Mobility, these two companies offer eVTOLs which allow passengers to be transported over fairly short distances, in the same way as taxis. As for the model proposed by Eve Air Mobility, it will have four seats, one of which is reserved for the pilot, and will have a range of 60 miles, or almost 100 kilometers. According to the start-up, the vehicle will be much less noisy than current aircraft.
This investment was made by United Airlines Ventures, the venture capital arm of the firm. The latter aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It should receive its first eVTOL from Eve Air Mobility in 2026, until the start-up can meet the criteria specific to the United Airlines order.
A second investment to build a large eVTOL fleet
In his press release, the airline clarified that it chose to invest in Eve Air Mobility primarily because it is tied to Embarer. The aircraft manufacturer will be able to provide access to its parts and supplies to help United Airlines set up its air taxi service. Previously, Embraer helped Uber set up its flying taxi service, but the ride-hailing company sold its eVTOL division at the start-up Joby.
If the 200 eVTOL offered by Eve Air Mobility suit United Airlines, a clause in the contract stipulates that it could buy 200 additional flying taxis from the start-up in order to expand its vehicle fleet. In all, it could have a fleet of 500 eVTOLs for its flying taxi service. Besides Joby and United Airlines, other companies like ITA Airways and Airbus have come together for an upcoming large-scale use of eVTOLs.