United announced this week a $15 million investment in Eve Air Mobility and a conditional purchase agreement for 200 four-seat eVTOL aircraft plus 200 options. This marks another significant investment from United in eVTOL that has the potential to revolutionize the commuter experience in cities around the world. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies intend to work on future projects, including studies on the development, use and application of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft and the urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.
“United has made early investments in several cutting-edge technologies at all levels of the supply chain, staking out our position as a leader in aviation sustainability and innovation,” said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airlines Ventures. “United is making history again, by becoming the first major airline to publicly invest in two eVTOL companies. Our agreement with Eve highlights our confidence in the urban air mobility market and serves as another important benchmark toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – without using traditional offsets. Together, we believe our suite of clean energy technologies will revolutionize air travel as we know it and serve as the catalyst for the aviation industry to move toward a sustainable future.”
“United’s investment in Eve reinforces the trust in our products and services and strengthens our position in the North American market,” said Andre Stein, co-CEO of Eve. “I am confident that our UAM agnostic solutions, coupled with the global know-how we have been developing at Eve and Embraer’s heritage, are the best fit for this initiative, giving United’s customers a quick, economical and sustainable way to get to its hub airports and commute in dense urban environments. It is an unparalleled opportunity to work with United to advance the US UAM ecosystem, and we look forward to it.”
United’s investment in Eve was driven in part by confidence in the potential growth opportunities in the UAM market and by Eve’s unique relationship with Embraer, a trusted aircraft manufacturer with a proven track record of building and certifying aircraft over the company’s 53-year history. This relationship includes access to Embraer’s service centers, parts warehouses, and field service technicians, paving the way for a reliable operation. Upon entry into service, United could have its entire eVTOL fleet serviced by Eve’s agnostic service and support operations. Moreover, United joins the consortium led by Eve, which will simulate UAM operations in Chicago from September 12th.
With a range of 60 miles (100 km), Eve’s VTOL aircraft has the potential not only to offer a sustainable commute but also to reduce noise levels by 90 percent as compared to aircraft like helicopters. Eve is also creating a new air traffic management solution designed for the UAM industry to scale safely. This software is intended to perform at the same safety level as Embraer’s existing air traffic management software and is expected to be a strategic asset in helping the entire industry grow.
This announcement also closely follows United’s recent firm purchase commitment for 100 of Archer’s eVTOL aircraft. Learn more about this purchase here.
Why it matters: United was the first major U.S. airline to create a corporate venture fund, United Airlines Ventures (UAV), designed to support the company’s commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050 without the use of traditional offsets. Through UAV, United has led the industry in investments in eVTOL and electric aircraft, hydrogen fuel cell engines, and sustainable aviation fuel. This new partnership with Eve further solidifies United’s commitment to electric aviation and aerial mobility, keeping it at the forefront of this new push by major airlines.
Source // United
- United Airlines Completes $10M Pre-Payment for 100 Archer eVTOL Aircraft (August 2022)
- United Airlines Orders $1B in Archer Vehicles (February 2021)
- American Airlines Solidifies Delivery Slots for Vertical Aerospace eVTOL Aircraft (July 2022)
- Eve, Blade Partner to Simulate eVTOL Operations (August 2022)