Published on September 22nd, 2017 | by The Beam0
Volocopter Receives €25 Million In Funding For Air Taxi
September 22nd, 2017 by The Beam
The level of interest in flying taxis is really taking off, if you’ll pardon the pun. German company Volocopter has recently received €25m in funding to develop its all-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicle (VTOL). The investment came from Stuttgart-based automobile company Daimler, Berlin-based technology investor Lukasz Gadowski, and a number of other additional investors. Add this announcement to the news that Munich-based startup Lilium raised $90m in funding earlier in September and it becomes clear that a lot of people are banking on air taxis becoming a major mode of transportation in the future.
Some people believe Volocopter could receive even more funding in 2017, as the company has the very attractive feature of being approved to fly, which makes it the Tesla of VTOLs.
Managing Director of Volocopter, Florian Reuter, sees this funding as an indication of the growing strength of the VTOL market.“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis“ he said in a statement.
Volocopter aims to use the funding to develop technical innovations of the vehicle to get it ready for full production, to employ more specialist engineers in a multitude of areas, and to invest in increasing brand awareness of Volocopter to help it enter the commercial market.
Testing in Dubai Before End of 2017
The company has already made swift progress, even before this funding round. Its first manned flight took place in March 2016, and in June 2017 it signed an agreement with the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai to allow the company to run tests of its air taxis before the end of this year. The Volocopter itself has 18 rotors, a top speed of 100km/h and a estimated flight time of 30 minutes, and the testing and certification period of operation in Dubai will last for around five years.
With the shift toward electric-powered vehicles of all kinds, it makes sense for Daimler to invest in the future of this technology. As traffic congestion in all major cities continues to increase, flying taxis are being tipped as the solution to this problem. There are two major regulatory hurdles to leap over before mass adoption can take place — regulation of autonomous vehicles, and regulation of air travel. Once this happens, a company like Volocopter is poised to serve the market.
Related: CleanTechnica Flying Car Overview