Photo Credit: Courtesy of United Airlines
United To Invest $15 Million In Electric Flying Taxi Market
United Airlines announced, on September 09, a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft plus 200 options, expecting the first deliveries as early as 2026. Eve was formerly part of Brazilian multinational aerospace manufacturer Embraer.
According to the US carrier, this marks another significant investment from United in flying taxis – or eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles) – that have the potential to revolutionize the commuter experience in cities around the world. 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.
Last month, United gave a $10 million deposit to Archer, a California-based eVTOL company, for 100 aircraft. so far, none have received clearance from federal aviation regulators to fly passengers. With this operation, United has become the first major U.S. airline to acquire eVTOL products for its future fleet.
Also, the company created a corporate venture fund, United Airlines Ventures (UAV), designed to support the company’s 100% green commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 without the use of traditional offsets. Through UAV, United has led the industry in investments in eVTOL and electric aircraft, hydrogen fuel cell engines, and sustainable aviation fuel.
“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 revolutionize air travel as we know it and serve as the catalyst for the aviation industry to move toward a sustainable future,” said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures.
United explained that the company’s investment in Eve was driven in part by confidence in the potential growth opportunities in the UAM market and Eve’s unique relationship with Embraer. This relationship includes access to Embraer’s service centers, parts warehouses and field service technicians, paving the way for a reliable operation.
Upon entry into service, United could have its entire eVTOL fleet serviced by Eve’s agnostic service and support operations, with a range of 60 miles (100 km)Moreover, United joins the consortium led by Eve, which will simulate UAM operations in Chicago from Sept. 12.