Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Autonomous Vehicles

Uber Elevate: Future Of Air Taxis = 3 Hours of Flight, 150 MPH, 4 Passengers

How fast should electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) aircraft zoom over our heads? Uber Elevate seems to think 150 mph is a good speed, and better than traditional helicopters.

Pipistrel eVTOL Concept AirVenture Lindbergh Innovation Forum Set

How fast should electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) aircraft zoom over our heads? Uber Elevate seems to think 150 mph is a good speed, and better than traditional helicopters.

I just wrote about Mark Moore, the director of engineering for Uber Elevate, in a piece on Jaunt Air Mobility. Moore believes eVTOL urban air mobility (UAM) requires achieving a state of technology that will enable 3 hours of continuous flight operation. He also sees the state of eVTOL design evolving toward a configuration of 1 pilot and 4 passengers with winged aircraft.

Uber Elevate also thinks winged eVTOL will be crucial for UAM. It provides the platform needed to move passengers efficiently in the air from city vertiports.

Uber Elevate air taxi

Big urban centers are where UAM will find the critical mass needed with it already available vertiports. The symposium said Sao Paolo, Brazil, already has 270 vertiports, which is considered to be the most of any city globally, according to the aerospace and transportation venture Nexa Advisors.

Interestingly enough, Moore doesn’t see wingless multicopters as a viable option, at least when it comes to Uber Elevate’s mission. He argues that these platforms lack the speed and efficiency of a winged aircraft. This is also something Olivier LE LANN told me at LA Automobility when he unveiled his EVA eVTOL with retractable wings.

Uber Sees 150 MPH eVTOL Advantage Over Traditional Helicopters

The advantages modern UAM eVTOL designs have over traditional helicopters come down to safety, cost, noise, and efficiency. The electric distributed propulsion systems currently designed and tested show great potential over internal combustion engines (ICE) and turbines inefficiencies. With growing demand in the “rideshare” economy, Uber Elevate sees electric and hybrid air taxis as revolutionizing currently expensive helicopter transit.

Moore noted that UAM at less than 50¢ per mile is one of Uber Elevate’s main targets. That price is commonly associated with car travel. I heard the same at the Bell Nexus unveiling at CES this year.

Uber Elevate VTOL

Besides these points, Moore says one of eVTOLs’ leading points of potential is in reduced maintenance costs — by eliminating costly traditional helicopter controls and gearbox maintenance. Another important point is that, by reducing rotor tip speeds, eVTOL aircraft cut down on noise, which could slow down UAM adoption. The lower rotor tip speeds also improve vehicle performance in low-speed, high-wind conditions around buildings.

The era of eVTOL UAM is here to stay. Things are getting interesting.

Uber Elevate air taxi

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Autonomous Drones for Better Farming

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"


You May Also Like

Clean Power

Promoting renewable energy in the Global South is essential, and for several important reasons. First, countries in the Global South are often highly reliant...


Long distances, oilfields, and low salaries abound south of the Rio Bravo. If you ask me, it’s mainly these three conditions that have marked...

Clean Transport

Tata Motors has been revolutionizing the Indian automotive market with its pioneering efforts and is leading the e-mobility wave in India with a commanding...


The City of New York will require all Uber and Lyft vehicles to be electric by 2030. The companies could get there even sooner.

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.