Joby Announces Its Decision to Delay the Launch of Its Air Taxi Commercial Operations

JOby eVTOL Air Taxi 6 photos
Photo: Joby Aviation
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Joby Aviation’s latest letter to shareholders reveals some unexpected information about the company’s plans to launch operations of its highly anticipated eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) air taxi.
In the recently shared letter, the California-based eVTOL developer made a summary of its latest and most important achievements. For instance, Joby recalled its collaboration with Delta Air Lines, which might lead to a total investment of up to $200 million from Delta. It also mentioned its recent application for Japan certification and shared its latest financial highlights.

But it was another juicy piece of information included in the letter that attracted the attention of the media: it turns out that Joby will delay the launch of its air taxi commercial services. The company initially planned to start its air taxi services in 2024, but it seems that the deadline can no longer be met so the eVTOL developer says it will kick off its commercial passenger service just in 2025.

There were several factors leading to this decision according to Joby’s CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, such as internal considerations. The company claims it wants to make sure it has the right team in the right place at the right time. But, as explained by Bevirt and reported by DroneDJ, the main reason behind the decision are the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) changes in the way eVTOL air taxis will be certified. The news about the modified certification regulations broke out last spring and, according to one of them, air taxis will be evaluated as power-lift transportation closer to helicopters than to small planes.

The new regulations translate into more time required by eVTOL manufacturers to make sure they comply. At the same time, delays are also expected to occur because the FAA doesn’t expect to have those special regulations finalized until late 2024.

Joby’s eVTOL air taxi is a silent five-seater that can fly at a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph) and claims to offer up to 150 miles (241 km) of range per charge. It has a very low acoustic footprint of less than 65 dBA during take-off and landing (the noise level of a normal conversation) and an even lower one of just 45 dBA during flight, at altitudes of 1,640 ft (500 m) and a speed of 115 mph (185 kph).
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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