The amount of Joby Aviation Inc.‘s contract with the US Defense Department has escalated to as much as $75 million. Joby Aviation Inc. is an electric aircraft manufacturer developing flying taxis. On Wednesday, the business intends to make the new deal public.
Expanding the Deal
The California-based business creates electric-powered eVTOLs, often known as vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. The sum of the Defense Department contract, which is valid through 2025, has more than doubled from $30 million and now covers the US Marine Corps as well. The agreement underlines Washington’s growing interest in electric helicopters, which emit no pollutants and are less expensive to maintain than conventional helicopters.
According to Joby Executive Chairman Paul Sciarra, maintaining its momentum with government clients has always been a key component of its marketing strategy. He added that having more military customers test the aircraft will enable Joby to enhance manufacturing, flight operations, and other processes before launching a taxi service for the general public, which the business hopes to do in 2024.
For the past two years, Joby has been working with the Air Force to test its prototype aircraft, which can carry four passengers at up to 200 mph and go 150 miles on a single charge. The lightweight vehicles are primarily used for military logistics, such as transferring supplies and attending to medical situations.
They are not intended for use in battle. Although they are not included in the contract expansion announced on Wednesday, the Army and Navy have also designated eVTOL aircraft as a “key area of interest,” according to Sciarra.
Joby and Others
Before taking the launch, Joby must clear logistical and regulatory obstacles similar to those faced by Archer Aviation Inc., Beta Technologies Inc., and other eVTOL rivals trying to reinvent urban transportation.
In addition to increasing manufacturing and obtaining commercial approval in the US and the UK, Joby will need to try to avoid mishaps like the one that happened earlier this year in a remote testing facility close to Jolon, California.
The business claimed at the time that the mishap would not affect its long-term ambitions since when the plane broke apart in midair, it was flying much faster than its top speed during commercial operations. Joby will release its financial results for the second quarter on Thursday and has a market valuation of $3.68 billion.