Joby Aviation hopes to be the first certified eVTOL airline with its small, electric air taxis. To prove their usability, Joby sent one of its eVTOL units on a 150-mile flight, making it the first all-electric aircraft to achieve such a feat.
Like helicopters or drones, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) craft can enter the sky without going down a runway. They can also hover in midair and fly in any direction on a dime—aspects that make them an interesting option for short-distance flights. Some companies hope to use eVTOL for sports, but Joby is laser-focused on the airline industry.
Because eVTOL units don’t require fuel, they’re a lot more environmentally friendly than traditional planes. And while electric aircraft aren’t ready for cross-country flights, Joby has proven that its air taxis could fly from Los Angeles to San Diego on a single charge—perhaps they could replace private jets?
Of course, Joby didn’t fly its aircraft across California for this test. It instead sent an air taxi to fly around in a big circle until it passed the 150-mile mark. Longer trips will require bigger batteries, especially if Joby wants to fit more than 5 people on its air taxi.