United Airlines envisions a fleet of up to 400 electric flying taxis that it hopes would revolutionize global transportation.
In addition to a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft and 200 options, the US carrier invested $15 million in manufacturer Eve Air Mobility.
Deliveries could start as soon as 2026.
According to the airline, the 60-mile range of the Eve air taxis has the ability to not only provide a sustainable means of transportation but also cut noise levels by 90% when compared to current conventional aircraft.
Two eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle) businesses have now received financial support from United.
A California-based eVTOL startup received a $10 million deposit from the airline last month for 100 aircraft.
United claimed that Eve’s partnership with established aircraft manufacturer Embraer and its potential for expansion in the urban air mobility (UAM) industry were two factors that contributed to its investment.
President of corporate venture offshoot United Airlines Ventures, Michael Leskinen, stated: “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 is making history again, by becoming the first major airline to publicly invest in two eVTOL companies.
“Our agreement with Eve highlights our confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – without using traditional offsets.
“Together, we believe our suite of clean energy technologies will revolutionise air travel as we know it and serve as the catalyst for the aviation industry to move toward a sustainable future.”
Eve co-chief executive Andre Stein added: “I am confident that our UAM agnostic solutions, coupled with the global know-how we have been developing at Eve and Embraer’s heritage, are the best fit for this initiative, giving United’s customers a quick, economical and sustainable way to get to its hub airports and commute in dense urban environments.”
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