The notion that hundreds or even thousands of electric-powered air taxis could be whisking people over jammed roads is inching away from science fiction and closer to reality.
Battery technology is improving enough for eVTOLs — short for electric vertical takeoffs and landings, the name given to these aircraft that can act like helicopters near the ground but fly like small planes. The bigger question may be whether there is a profitable business in producing them.
JoeBen Bevirt is an evangelist for the new industry and the founder and CEO of Joby Aviation Inc., which delivered its first eVTOL to the Air Force last month. Bevirt insists that his Santa Cruz, California-based company, whose largest shareholder is Toyota (11%), can meet an ambitious target of entering commercial air taxi service in 2025.