24th June 2024

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Business Industry and Financial

Another Automotive Giant Dabbles Into eVTOL Manufacturing

Earlier this year, Archer announced it’s building a pioneering facility in Covington, Georgia. This eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) manufacturing plant will roll out 650 units per year and gradually extend to a whopping capacity of 2,300 units per year. This grandiose vision for the future is partly possible due to Archer’s partnership with Stellantis.

The automotive group is officially the exclusive contract manufacturer of Archer’s Midnight aircraft, an unprecedented role for a carmaker. Plus, the Stellantis-produced Midnight eVTOL is set to operate as an air taxi with United Airlines, another big name, which confirms its reputation as one of the best air taxis to come.

On the other hand, Toyota plays a different role in Joby’s electric air taxi. The two companies started collaborating a while ago and are now taking that partnership to the next level. The Japanese car manufacturer has invested hundreds of millions in Joby and is officially its largest shareholder.

Toyota also helped design the eVTOL maker’s current facility in Marina, California. This alone would be enough to provide Joby with a huge advantage over other air taxi manufacturers.

Once the design and certification processes are completed, the most effective eVTOL manufacturing process will make a difference in this emerging industry. It certainly doesn’t help to get the expertise of one of the top car makers in the world.

The Toyota-Joby partnership has recently added a new layer. The automotive giant will supply Joby with essential powertrain and actuation components.

This is how things will go down – Toyota will manufacture the components that Joby designed; then, they’ll arrive at one of Joby’s facilities, dedicated to powertrain and electronics manufacturing, located in San Carlos. From there, the assembled systems will move to Joby’s new pilot production line in Marina. Finally, that is where the first Joby air taxis will come to life.

Given this strategic partnership, it’s no surprise that the Californian AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) company wants to certify its electric air taxi in Japan as well. Joby has already applied to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) for the validation of its FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) aircraft type certification. If things go well, Joby’s eVTOL will be officially certified and ready for commercial operations in the U.S. by next year.

At the same time, Joby intends to provide air taxi shuttle services for Toyota employees in Japan. Its main partner for this project is Aero Asahi, a Toyota subsidiary.