Even while authorization for the entirely new aviation format delays, Hyundai believes its first electric air taxis may take to the skies by 2025—years sooner than planned.
Small vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) aircraft developed for usage in cities as an aviation alternative to traditional ride-hailing services have been termed “air taxi.” Several firms have an indicated interest in air taxis and companion mobility services, including several manufacturers, although the technical difficulties are substantial.
Despite the obstacles, which include a lack of legislative certainty and the requirement to certify a whole new aircraft type for safety, Hyundai worldwide COO José Muoz said at a Reuters conference that the firm is on track to deploy electric air taxis ahead of schedule.
According to Reuters, Muoz, who is also the CEO of Hyundai North America, originally stated that air taxis will begin operations in 2028, but now feels that 2025 is a possibility.
According to the article, the air taxis would be battery-powered and built to take five or six people from city centers to airports. According to Reuters, Muoz said that transporting cargo is also an alternative.
It’s uncertain whether air taxis and future Hyundai electric vehicles based on the new E-GMP architecture will have any technological overlap.
Hyundai established a specialized air-mobility division in 2019, managed by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA engineer. Hyundai announced at the time that it will invest $1.5 billion in air taxis by 2025. Last year, the firm announced a collaboration with Uber to deploy the cars, and at the Consumer Electronics event, it showed a full-scale model (CES).
A number of other companies are working on their own electric air taxis.
GM has expressed interest in the electric air taxi industry, with CEO Mary Barra indicating last year that the company’s new Ultium battery technology may be utilized in the airplane.
In 2019, Porsche and Boeing announced a collaboration to build a “luxury urban air mobility vehicle.” Several smaller businesses are also seeking a piece of the pie.
If all of these ideas happen, the sky may become very crowded very soon.