Joby, Toyota to build world’s first air taxi factory
Joby Aviation is spending $500m on the world’ s first factory for the mass production of air taxis.
The Joby Aviation air taxi factory in Dayton, Ohio, is a key challenge to Lilium in Germany, Vertical Aerospace in the UK and the Volocopter subsidiary of Airbus, all of whom are planning production factories for their systems following significant orders.
Joby plans for a capacity of up to 500 aircraft per year at the 140-acre site. Up to $325 million comes from state and local incentives to support scaling and the US Department of Energy has invited Joby to submit an application for a loan as a clean energy project.
Joby is developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for a pilot and four passengers with speeds of up to 200 mph and a maximum range of 100 miles using a new quiet motor.
Joby’s long-term investor, Toyota, worked with Joby on the design and launch of the company’s Pilot Production Line in Marina, California and plans to continue to advise Joby as it prepares for scaled production of its commercial passenger air taxi in Ohio.
Construction of the scaled Ohio facility is expected to start in 2024 and it is expected to come online in 2025. Joby plans to use existing nearby buildings to begin near-term operations.
The choice of the site is deeply political. The Wright Brothers, who invented and flew the first powered aircraft, lived and worked in Dayton and opened the first airplane factory in the United States there in 1910. The city is also home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories which has played a key role in supporting Joby’s development.
“We’re building the future of aviation right where it all started, in Dayton, Ohio,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby. “The Wright Brothers harnessed revolutionary technology of their time to open up the skies, and we intend to do the same — this time, bringing quiet and emissions-free flight that we hope will have an equally profound impact on our world.
The company plans to operate these aircraft as part of aerial ridesharing networks in cities and communities around the world, starting in 2025, building on partnerships it has developed with Delta and Uber.
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Joby’s headquarters, research and development, and pilot production facility will remain in California.