Investors Bet on eVTOLs
Joby Aviation Shares Climb on First Day of Trading
Joby Aviation (JOBY), an electric air-taxi startup which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday via a SPAC deal, has seen shares surge. Investors are betting on growth for the green travel industry.
Joby Aviation was acquired by blank-check company Reinvent Technology Partners in February. It was valued at $4.5 billion. The deal gave Joby over $1 billion which it is using to build electric aircraft, bring its air-taxi service to the US, and gain certifications with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Joby to Launch Air-Taxi Service
Joby Aviation launched 12 years ago, aiming to make air travel greener by developing electric aircraft which could replace helicopters. Known as eVTOLs, Joby is aiming to offer its service by 2024. Joby’s eVTOL will be able to carry four passengers plus a pilot and go 150 miles on one charge, reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour. Joby’s main source of revenue will be air taxis but it also wants to sell green credits to other aviation companies looking to offset their carbon emissions.
Joby is different from other eVTOL manufacturers in the marketplace. In addition to building aircraft it also wants to operate an air-taxi service including charging stations in the US and elsewhere.
Airline Operators Eye the Market
Joby is not the only eVTOL startup to get interest from investors. With the major airlines looking for ways to lower their emissions, they are increasingly eyeing eVTOLs. In February, United Airlines (UAL) took part in a fundraising round in Archer Aviation, an eVTOL startup going public via a SPAC deal with Atlas Crest Investment (ACIC). Meanwhile American Airlines (AAL) made an investment in rival Vertical Aerospace in June. The latter already has pre-orders for as many as 1,000 eVTOLs. American plans to be one of the initial customers.
With the world committing to lower emissions, demand for eVTOLs is expected to increase. It will be interesting to watch which startups emerge as the leaders and which airline operators will be first to add eVTOLs to their fleets.
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