Brazil's Embraer to start building flying taxis
Brazilian aeronautics company Embraer and its urban mobility subsidiary Eve said Thursday they would build a factory near Sao Paulo to manufacture flying taxis that could take off as soon as 2026.
The factory for "electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft" or eVTOL, will be built in the city of Taubate in Sao Paulo state, the companies announced on the 150th anniversary of the birth of Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont.
Taubate is a city of some 310,000 inhabitants about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Sao Paulo, Brazil's economic capital.
The first flights with the drone-like vehicles, which resemble small helicopters, would cost about $50 to $100 per person per trip, company sources told AFP.
Each eVTOL can carry four to six passengers.
The vehicles will be 100 percent electric, allowing for emissions-free travel.
The initial flights will have a pilot, but a later rollout of self-piloted vehicles is also on the cards.
Embraer said it has already received orders for 2,850 eVTOLs worth about $1.5 billion from 28 clients in several countries, including helicopter operators, airlines and flight-sharing platforms.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Eve Air Mobility, which has not yet posted profits, recorded a net loss of $25 million in the first quarter of 2023, due in particular to expenses related to research and development of the eVTOL.
Sao Paulo, a megalopolis of 11.5 million people with monster traffic jams, has the largest helicopter fleet in the world.
© 2023 AFP