They look kinda scary, something like a giant insect from outer space.
And they’re coming to a street near you. In Singapore. In Seoul. And probably, Kuching too.
eVTOLs – electric vertical take-off and landing craft – are emerging
from development stage to full-scale prototypes, ready for volume
production with the financial support of companies like Japanese car
manufacturer Toyota and ride share outfit, Uber.
With a maximum range of 241 kilometres, a top speed of 321 km/h, and a
low noise profile that will allow it to access built-up areas, piloted
aircraft are designed to make convenient, emissions-free air travel an
option for everyone.
AirAsia plans to lease at least 100 of Vertical Aerospace's VX4 eVTOL
aircraft and deploy them for urban air mobility services in South-east
Asian cities, while Japanese airline ANA has partnered California-based
aviation startup Joby to launch a flying taxi service from airports to
Meanwhile, South Korea’s leading telecommunications company and Joby
Aviation are developing an all-electric, five-seat aircraft, will work
together to introduce emissions-free aerial ridesharing services to
cities and communities across South Korea.
Joe Ben Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said, “With more than 42
million people living in urban areas, South Korea offers a remarkable
opportunity for Joby to make air travel a part of daily life, helping
people to save time while reducing their carbon footprint.”
Voloport Marina Bay will be part of an air mobility network
In Singapore, air taxi pioneers, Germany’s Volocopter and the UK’s
Skyports, plan to launch commercial air taxi services with up to 20 air
taxis, beginning in two years’ time with flights around Marina Bay and
Beyond that, cross-border air taxi trips to Indonesia and Malaysia are planned.
Christian Bauer, Volocopter's chief commercial officer, said that the
service will be affordable to the general public. He wants Singapore
and Paris to be the first cities its commercial air taxis are flown in.
Volocopters urban air taxi, VoloCity, has a range of 35km and a speed
of 90kmh, while its four-seater model, VoloConnect, can travel at
180kmh over 100km.
"We believe that Singapore will be a flagship nation for this type of
technology and be suitable for us to then scale it to other nations and
cities across South-east Asia," Bauer said.