(11 September 2022, 10:44 +07) United Airlines is investing $15 million in Eve Air Mobility and has signed a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft with options for a further 200.
Deliveries of the flying taxis, or eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle) as they are also known, are expected to begin as early as 2026.
Under the terms of the agreement, 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 has signed a CPA for 200 4-seat eVTOLs with options for a further 200
“United’s investment in Eve reinforces the trust in our products and services and strengthens our position in the North American market,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve, an Embraer company. “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. It is an unparalleled opportunity to work with United to advance the US UAM ecosystem, and we look forward to it.”
United was one of the first U.S. airlines to create 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 invested in eVTOL and other electric aircraft, hydrogen fuel cell engines, and sustainable aviation fuel. Last month, United gave a $10 million deposit to a California-based eVTOL company for 100 aircraft.
“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,” said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures. “Today, 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.”
Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, eVTOL aircraft are designed to use electric motors, providing carbon-free flights and to be used as ‘air taxis’ in urban markets.
Eve’s design uses conventional fixed wings, rotors and pushers, giving it a practical and intuitive lift-plus-cruise design, which favors safety, efficiency, reliability and certifiability.
With a range of 60 miles (100 km), the aircraft has the potential not only to offer a sustainable commute but also to reduce noise levels by 90 percent compared to current conventional aircraft.
Eve 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.
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