US carrier United has made a US$15 million investment in electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) developer Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat electric aircraft plus 200 options, the carrier announced today.
Rather than relying on traditional combustion engines, eVTOL aircraft are designed to use electric motors, providing carbon-free flights and to be used as ‘air taxis’ in urban markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies intend to work on future projects, including studies on the development, use and application of Eve’s aircraft and the urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem. Eve’s eVTOLs (pictured) are designed with conventional fixed wings, rotors and pushers, and have a range of 100km. The carrier expects first deliveries as early as 2026.
“United has made early investments in several cutting-edge technologies at all levels of the supply chain, staking out our position as a leader in aviation sustainability and innovation,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, a corporate venture fund designed to support the carrier’s carbon reduction goals.
“Our agreement with Eve highlights our confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – without using traditional offsets,” he added. “Together, we believe our suite of clean energy technologies will revolutionise air travel as we know it and serve as the catalyst for the aviation industry to move toward a sustainable future.”