United Airlines is investing $15 million in Eve Air Mobility, an electric aviation startup owned by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. As part of the deal, United will purchase 200 of Eve’s electric air taxis, which can seat four passengers and take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
This is United’s second major investment in the burgeoning world of electric air mobility after invest an unknown amount in Archer last year. These companies propose to develop small electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) that can fly from roof to roof as a taxi service in a densely populated city. But so far, no one has received permission from federal aviation regulators to fly passengers.
But Eve may need to meet certain criteria before she can fulfill her order with United, as the airline described it as a “conditional purchase agreement.” (United did not elaborate on the terms in its press release.) Delivery of Eve’s first aircraft, with a range of 60 miles, is expected in 2026.
The investment will come from United’s venture arm, United Airlines Ventures, which the airline is using to achieve its goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050 without the use of traditional carbon offsets.
United said it is investing in Eve primarily because of its ties to Embraer, which can provide access to parts and supplies for its air taxi service. Earlier, Embraer said it would make flying taxis for Uber before the ride-hailing company sells its eVTOL division to another startup.
Eve is the latest startup to receive United’s stamp of approval. Last year, the airline said it would purchase 15 boom supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic, with an option to expand that order to 50 jets.
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