United Airlines envisions a future for electric flying taxis

United Airlines envisions a future for electric flying taxis

United Airlines anticipates that electric air taxis will soon whiz across U.S. cities.

Thursday, the airline announced a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility, a manufacturer of flying e-taxis designed for short urban commutes or airport transportation. United placed a $10 million deposit on 100 comparable aircraft manufactured by California-based electric air taxi manufacturer Archer last month.

The $15 million will cover 200 electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles, or eVTOLs, also known as four-seat flying taxis for Eve. United will have the option to purchase 200 additional cars under the terms of the agreement, with the first deliveries commencing in 2026.

eVTOL planes utilize electric motors that provide carbon-free flights in lieu of conventional combustion engines. According to a joint announcement by United and Eve, this will cut pollution, noise levels, and traffic congestion. The airline stated that the investment will aid in achieving its aim of achieving zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, a venture firm aimed at decarbonizing air travel, said in a statement, “Our agreement with Eve demonstrates our confidence in the urban air mobility market and represents an important step toward our goal of achieving 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.”

Andre Stein, co-chief executive officer of Eve, stated that the company’s taxis will provide United consumers with “a rapid, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly method to get to its main airports and commute in dense urban areas.”

The Eve aircraft is envisioned to have a range of 40 to 60 miles. Future designs might be slightly bigger than the planned four-seater, but they would not replace any planes that United flies from one airport to another, so they won’t reduce carbon emissions produced by the airline’s regular fleet.

Eve Holding, headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, is a publicly traded corporation founded this year by the merger of a special purpose acquisition firm called Zanite with an Embraer subsidiary.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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