Air Taxi Anyone?SOURCE: Venture Bytes
Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft hold the potential to revolutionize urban air travel by enabling efficient point-to-point transportation. These innovative vehicles seamlessly integrate the advantages of helicopters (vertical takeoff and landing) and airplanes (fixed-wing flight), creating an optimal solution for short-range flights spanning 20 to 50 miles. As regulatory approvals for eVTOLs gain momentum, the commercialization of these aircraft is imminent. Around 200 companies are presently engaged in the development of eVTOL vehicles, preparing for a major step forward in air travel. Tailored for urban transportation in congested settings, eVTOLs have the potential to disrupt the $49 billion helicopter industry significantly. Helicopters represent the most direct competition for eVTOLs in terms of concept, yet the costs associated with manufacturing, purchasing, operating, and maintaining eVTOLs are significantly less. For reference, a small to mid-sized helicopter consumes approximately 45 to 50 gallons of fuel per hour, translating to an expenditure of roughly $250. In contrast, a similarly sized eVTOL boasts a consumption rate of approximately 8.2 cents per mile. This remarkable cost advantage is underpinned by innovations such as new composite materials, advanced aerodynamics free from the constraints of a top-mounted main rotor, and a revolutionary approach to propulsion. Additionally, a simpler design compared to the helicopter makes it simpler to operate. With an order book of over 18,000 future mobility aircraft (eVTOLs, eCTOL, and drones) accounting for around $111 billion in sales, per McKinsey, the future of air mobility start-ups is bright.