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United Airlines agrees to buy up to 400 electric flying taxis from an eVTOL startup

Eve is developing small, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) four-seater aircraft that can fly from rooftop to rooftop in a dense city with an aim to deliver its first air taxi by 2026.

eVTOL

United Airlines have invested $15 million in Eve Air Mobility and agreed to buy up to 400 eVTOL from Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer-backed startup. This is not the first time when the airline is betting on futuristic electric air mobility. Earlier, United Airlines also invested in Archer Aviation with an agreement to buy 100 electric aircraft.

Eve is developing small, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) four-seater aircraft that can fly from rooftop to rooftop in a dense city. The company aims to deliver its first air taxi by 2026. Under the deal’s terms, the companies intend to work on future projects, including studies on the development, use, and application of Eve’s aircraft and the urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.

United Airlines believes that eVTOLs have the potential to revolutionize the commuter experience in cities around the world. Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures said, “United has made early investments in several cutting-edge technologies at all levels of the supply chain, staking out our position as a leader in aviation sustainability and innovation.” United says this agreement with Eve highlights the company’s confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward its goal of net zero
carbon emissions by 2050. Leskinen projected the one-way cost to the airport would be about $100 to $150.

Why eVTOLs?

The design of eVTOL aircraft uses electric motors to provide carbon-free flights. This also enables aircraft to be used as ‘air taxis’ in urban markets. Eve’s aircraft will have a range of 60 miles (100 km), and its vehicle has the potential not only to offer a sustainable commute but also to reduce noise levels by 90 percent compared to current conventional aircraft.

Air traffic control and crash prevention systems are some of the challenges that lie ahead of air taxi infrastructure. For this, the electric aviation startup is also creating a new air traffic management solution designed for the UAM industry to scale safely. This software is intended to perform at the same safety level as Embraer’s existing air traffic management software and is expected to be a strategic asset to helping the entire industry grow.

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