United Airlines makes a $15 million investment in an electric aviation business and purchases 200 air taxis
United Airlines is investing $15 million in Eve Air Mobility, a Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer-owned electric aviation company. United will buy 200 of Eve’s electric air taxis, which can seat four people and take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
This is United’s second large investment in the embryonic realm of electric air transportation, after an unknown sum in Archer last year. These businesses want to build tiny, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that can fly from rooftop to rooftop as a taxi service in a congested metropolis. However, none have gained permission from federal aviation officials to carry people thus far.
However, as a “conditional purchase agreement,” Eve may be required to achieve certain criteria before completing its order with United. (In its news statement, United did not expand on the requirements.) Eve’s first aircraft, with a range of 60 miles, is scheduled to arrive in 2026.
United Airlines Ventures will make the investment, which will help the airline achieve its objective of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 without the need of conventional carbon offsets.
United said that it is investing in Eve mostly because of its relationship with Embraer, which can give access to parts and supplies for its air taxi service. Embraer had said that it will manufacture flying taxis for Uber before the ride-hailing business sold its eVTOL branch to another startup.
Eve is the most recent company to get United’s clearance. The airline said last year that it will acquire 15 supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic, with an option to raise the contract to 50 planes.