Joby Aviation Partners With Toyota On Air Taxi Development


Joby Aviation announced that it has raised $590 million in its recent round of Series C funding and formed a partnership with the Toyota Motor Corporation aimed at the certification and deployment of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOLs) for use in air taxi services. As part of the partnership, Toyota Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will be joining Joby’s board of directors. Toyota contributed $394 million to the California-based aerospace company’s latest funding round.

“We are building a new system for transportation to transform your daily life, at greater safety and, in time, at a similar cost to driving,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and this new industry from one of the world’s leading automakers.”

According to Joby, Toyota will “share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support the development and production of Joby Aviation’s aircraft.” Joby says its unnamed eVTOL is designed to seat four passengers and a pilot, have a top speed of around 200 MPH and a single-charge range of more than 150 miles. Other investors include SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx. The recent round of Series C investments brings the company’s total funding to $720 million.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Who in their right mind would want to park a very expensive and fragile aircraft in non-secure public parking lot?

  2. “…And, in time, at a similar cost to driving.”

    And then: “…its unnamed eVTOL is designed to seat four passengers and a pilot.”

    So, the pilot is going to work for free? How else could the cost of this miracle be similar to the cost of driving? And at 200 mph?

    Truly miraculous. Rough translation: complete BS.

    • I zero’ed in on the exact same issue, Yars. I don’t know what those people are eating … or smoking … but they need someone to hit them over the head with something hard. This thing has six propellers … has anyone there recently purchased or had overhauled a constant speed propeller … or even a fixed pitch prop? And this thing is going to have six of ’em out in the open waiting to give free crewcuts to hapless people.

      Curious, I did further reading. Elsewhere, I found a picture of the thing where I see that the wing mounted inboard motors swing up to the vertical position on what appears to be a hinged format. I found a different picture where it appears the design appears pretty fragile to me … TOO fragile. The other four will rotate 90 deg on wing and tail tips but those inboard engines look like something Rube Goldberg woulda been proud of.

      THEN … I went to their website. After you get through all the fluff and start looking at all the hiring opportunities there are … one would reasonably get to wondering just who is actually working there. There IS one picture where it appears that the whole crew is standing next to some vehicle on a ramp … maybe as many as 200 people … yet their openings portend that they need all sorts of people. I don’t get it? Is this thing in a final prototype design format … or not? Doesn’t appear so to me. BTW: They’re looking for PhD’s with experience in operating shop equipment and are versed in homebuilt airplanes. Those oughta be easy to find.

      And that would lead me to wondering just WHY do we need hoards of such machines flying around at 200mph. If the airlines think they have a fear or problem clunking into drones NOW … wait til hoards of these things are cutting holes in the sky. AND … OH … they’re claiming zero emissions. I guess they’re discounting the fossil fuel burned in the Holbrook, AZ electric plant to recharge the batteries.

      Each comment in this blog has relevance. I’m older than Jason so … hopefully these things will entertain me as I sit in my room watching them flight test these contraptions before I check into the soylent green hotel.

      eDDS … indeed !!

  3. Welcome to negative return Investment

    A lot of people are going to live a very luxurious life for having brought the eVTOL money burning -scheme to life.

    Turning 45 next week gives me enough pause to wonder if and which one of the ambitious money burners will actually fly, in which structure of airspace. By the time I get put into a nursing home with autonomous (and then probably identifying as diverse) care- robots. This of course assumes not being shot or struck by a rocket from outer space, in retaliation for being cynical and sarcastic at exactly the wrong time.

    The coming decade will go down in history as collective and widespread, institutionalized world-wide insanity.

  4. I’m sure the thing will have those magic 5 minute recharge batteries too.

    This may be Toyota’s chance to learn that old airplane saying; If you want to make a small fortune in aviation, start with a large one….

      • Are you associated with Joby or ??

        Their website says it’s “all-electric.” OK … so either energy is coming from a battery, or from an engine powered alternator running through controllers to drive the motors. If it’s the later, then it isn’t “zero emissions.” I guess there’s a third possibility … electrons are being harvested from electron trees OR … maybe it’s steam powered.

        Tell us more, please.