Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Cora eVTOL by Wisk
Credit: Wisk


New Zealand To Test Wisk eVTOL Flying Taxi

California-based Wisk has signed an agreement with the government of New Zealand to test its autonomous electric air taxi in that country.

An old Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.” We have heard a lot about electric airplanes and drone-like flying capsules that can land and takeoff vertically, eliminating the need for runways. Someday soon, somebody is going to put one of these devices into commercial service. New Zealand and Wisk think they just may be the first to pull that off.

Boeing Kitty Hawk Cora

Image courtesy of Wisk

Wisk is no flash in the pan operation. It is a partnership created last year between eVTOL start up Kitty Hawk and Boeing. Kitty Hawk itself was once a subsidiary of Boeing. The first fruit of that collaboration is an electric VTOL aircraft known as Cora. The company explains its vision as follows:

“We believe in a world where less time getting there means more time being there, and that starts with Cora. With over a decade of piloted and autonomous flight experience, we’ve created Cora — our all-electric, self-flying air taxi that will change the future of daily commutes and urban travel. From day one, Cora by Wisk was designed with safety as our first priority using emissions free systems. We’re working toward a future where you’ll be able to safely soar over traffic and get to where you’re going, faster. Because everyone has somewhere to be, someone to see, and now—a better way to get there.”

Last week, the government of New Zealand announced it has reached an agreement with Wisk to begin trials of its Cora eVTOL as the first step in a process it hopes will lead to regular commercial use. In a press release, Wisk CEO Gary Gysin said, “Wisk has been working with the Government and people of New Zealand since 2017. We are excited about what this agreement and trial represents in our journey to bring safe everyday flight to everyone. New Zealand values innovation, excellence and technology that is safe for people and the environment. Being selected as the partner for this program is an honor and testament to our hard work and steady progress.”

Cora eVTOL by Wisk

Image courtesy of Wisk

Megan Woods, New Zealand’s minister for research, science and innovation issued a statement setting forth her country’s interest in developing a zero emissions air taxi service. “Government sees great potential in the development of an innovative unmanned aircraft sector in New Zealand and we are in a prime position to work with globally-leading companies here to safely test and go-to-market.

“As well as the economic and social benefits the growth of this industry offers, we also share Wisk’s vision of a greener, emission-free way for Kiwis and visitors to New Zealand to get around. Enabling the emergence of an entirely electric air taxi service is a natural fit with New Zealand’s zero carbon goal by 2050.”

Cora is a pretty modest attempt first attempt at a flying air taxi. It has room for only two passengers. (It is controlled autonomously so there is no need for a pilot to tag along.) It has a maximum speed of 100 mph (161 km/h) and a range of 25 miles (40 km). Think of it as an airborne equivalent to the autonomous Chrysler Pacifica shuttles that Waymo is operating in Phoenix. It’s a concept designed to test the feasibility of self-flying airborne taxis, nothing more.

And it is not alone. Joby, another California-based startup, has partnered with Toyota to develop its own electric VTOL taxi. The future, it appears, is fast approaching, although whether air taxis (or anything else) will ever solve the curse of urban congestion remains to be seen.

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!
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.

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


You May Also Like

Clean Power

At New Zealand’s First Clean Energy Conference, NREL Joined U.S. and New Zealand Experts and Leaders To Discuss Social & Financial Hurdles to Decarbonization...


With over a dozen new models being released in New Zealand this year, it looks like the NZ electric vehicle buyer will be spoilt...

Climate Change

Young climate activists are making a real impression on legislators around the world. Often still in high school, these inspired teens are gaining momentum...

Clean Transport

According to our illustrious former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, electric vehicles can’t tow. “It won’t tow your boat. It won’t tow your trailer. EVs...

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.