Toyota invests $394-M in aerospace company Joby Aviation

16 Janvier, 2020, 15:58 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Joby's eVTOL

Of that total, Toyota contributed $349 million.

Toyota will share its expertise in quality, manufacturing and costs controls with Joby and says the United States company's design is well-matched to embrace the needs of the emerging urban air transport market.

Joby, which has been working on its all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for the past decade, said that the funding would help it with the commercial launch of the vehicle that will make on-demand air travel available "at a similar cost to driving".

Santa Cruz-based startup Joby Aviation has raised $590 million in a Series C funding round, the company announced Wednesday.

"Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky", said Toyota Motor Corporation chief executive Akio Toyoda.

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Japan-listed Toyota Motor Corp (T:7203) is investing $394 million in Joby Aviation, a USA -based air-taxi startup that has reportedly spent the last ten years designing an electric air-taxi prototype. Alongside this new round of funding, Joby gains a new board member: Toyota Motor Corporation EVP Shigeki Tomoyama. Because it uses an electric transmission and a multi-rotor design, Joby Aviation says it is "100 times quieter than conventional airplanes during takeoff and landing, and nearly silent when flying overhead".

Others in the race include Europe's Airbus, Kitty Hawk, backed by Alphabet co-founder Larry Page and Boeing, as well as Volocopter, whose investors include Daimler AG.

Joby's all-electric air taxi is created to take off and land on the spot. With support from Toyota and its latest capital investment, Joby plans to will accelerate the certification and deployment of VTOL aircraft. "This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and this new industry from one of the world's leading automakers". The aircraft was designed so its easy for passengers to enter for departure and exit after landing.

Toyota has ventured into the flying vehicle field elsewhere, investing in the Japanese SkyDrive project to develop what is meant to be the world's smallest flying auto.

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