Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Joby Aviation reveals its clean, quiet five-seat eVTOL air taxi in flight

Joby Aviation has spent more than a decade developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing aircraft that it intends to operate as a commercial passenger aircraft starting in 2024. The Californian startup is the latest to become a public company through a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) called Reinvent Technology Partners.

To celebrate, they are releasing the first footage of its electric aircraft in operation. The video shows the aircraft taking off vertically, like a helicopter, before transitioning to forward flight and then landing vertically.

The Joby aircraft uses six large tilting rotors to achieve vertical lift and horizontal winged cruise. It will carry a pilot and four passengers for 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge, at a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h). It is 100 times quieter than a conventional aircraft.

The company says it aims to have a scaled-up air taxi service in operation by 2024. It estimates that each air taxi will cost $1.3 million to manufacture, with the potential to reduce that amount by half in the future and generate $2.2 million in revenue. The projection takes into account a scenario in which each machine will have 4,500 flight hours per year with an average of 2.3 passengers per trip.

The merged company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Market capitalization is expected to be $ 6.6 billion. As a part of the deal, Joby Aviation will receive $1.6 billion in cash proceeds, $690 million of which will come from Reinvent’s cash in trust and $835 million from private investors The Baupost Group, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Fidelity Management & Research LLC, and Baillie Gifford.

The proceeds from this transaction will fund the business through the start of commercial operations, including certification of the aircraft and development of manufacturing facilities. Construction is expected to begin on a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility, designed in conjunction with Toyota, later this year.