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All-electric air travel is taking off


A Californian startup has received $100 million in funding to take forward its all-electric passenger aircraft.

Joby Aviation is pioneering vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which will offer alternative  transportation options to customers at a local and regional level. Its 5-seaters can fly 150 miles plus on a single charge, and are up to 100 times less noisy than typical aircraft.

“People waste billions of hours sitting on roads worldwide each year. We envision a future where commuting by eVTOL is a safer, faster, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation. We have spent the last ten years developing the technologies that have made our full-scale technical demonstrator possible and are now ready to build a commercial version of the aircraft. We’re excited to have attracted the backing of leaders in auto manufacturing, data intelligence, and transportation sectors,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt.

Intel Capital led the Series B funding, which also included Toyota AI Ventures. The money will be used to progress the aircraft towards ‘pre-production and certification’.

Another American-based startup, Zunum Aero, is also striving to shake-up regional travel systems, with its slightly bigger hybrid-electric aircrafts. The company aims to take advantage of underused airports in rural parts of the US to give millions of people living in remote locations access to cheap and convenient door-to-door travel.

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