There are various views on electric aircraft. Some think electric aircraft are clearly the future, while others think it’s all fluff. Then, of course, there’s the middle ground. What really inspires confidence, though, is when big shots in the aviation industry start putting money behind the technology. On that topic, United Airlines has invested $15 million into electric aircraft startup Eve Air Mobility. Eve Air Mobility is also backed by Embraer.
United Airlines also agreed to buy 200 of the electric air taxis — presuming Eve Air Mobility gets to the point that it can produce 200 — and it has an option to buy another 200 if it so chooses (again, if Eve Air Mobility is one day able to produce 400 electric aircraft).
While the aircraft are not expected to hit the market until 2026, Eve joined the stock market (the NYSE) in May of this year.
United Airlines isn’t putting all of its eggs into one electric basket, though. The company also put $10 million down for 100 electric aircraft from Archer Aviation.
We’ve been covering dozens of electric aircraft companies in the past several years. It’s always an exciting dream to think about fully electric air transport, but we don’t really know yet how much it will become commercially competitive. Shorter-range regional flights in small and midsized planes are the easiest route forward for electric powertrains, and many people do assume these will be commercially viable markets in the future. I don’t think United Airlines would put tens of millions of dollars into these companies if it didn’t think so as well. However, that is still a drop in the bucket of United’s overall revenue and expenditures. We will have to wait at least a few years to see if that investment and hope pays off. In the meantime, we’ll keep our eyes out for any more notable electric aircraft collaborations. Let us know if you see any, too.
Featured image courtesy of United Airlines
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