Joby Aviation’s electric prototype successfully passed the test, flying for over an hour on just one battery charge. The company aims to have its air taxi service operating by 2024.
Joby Aviation is one of the companies working to make electric air taxis a reality. And recently, he has taken a new step in his plan: he completed a test flight that exceeded 150 miles. This required a single battery charge.
The company shared a video showing off the outstanding achievement with its six-rotor electric aircraft, with vertical takeoff and landing. The prototype flight was carried out by remote control and lasted one hour and 17 minutes. It is worth noting that the route was not linear but on a predefined circuit.
Joby Aviation’s fully electric aerial vehicle made 11 turns of the test route, completing 154.6 miles or 248 kilometres. The company’s objective was to demonstrate the progress achieved in autonomy and energy management. Undoubtedly, two of the critical points for the future of electric air taxis.
Joeben Bevirt, CEO of the company, said: “We have achieved something that many believed impossible with the battery technology that exists today. In doing so, we have taken the first step to achieve convenient and emission-free air travel between places like San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, Houston and Austin, or Los Angeles and San Diego are an everyday reality. “
Joby Aviation takes an essential step towards the future of electric air taxis.
Joby Aviation is one of the most advanced companies in its quest to make 100% electric air mobility a reality. It even aims to get its electric air taxi service up and running by 2024, promising speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. You have to see if these goals are realistic, but the progress of your prototype is insight.
According to the firm, its eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) uses lithium-ion batteries already available on the market, although adapted for aerospace use.
After internal testing, an 811 NCM cathode and graphite anode cell were selected to provide the optimal balance between the specific energy required to fly 150 miles with the aircraft, the special power to take off and land vertically, and the cycle of life to offer an affordable service.
Joby Aviation also ensures that the battery is capable of meeting “more than 10,000 of its expected nominal flight cycles.” In addition, one of the test drivers, Justin Paines, highlighted the work done to reinforce the landing gear and give the prototype an appearance closer to that of the final vehicle.
As the 150+ mile test was conducted without people on board, many questions are still to be answered. For example, it remains to know the projection of autonomy and energy management in human-crewed flights, taking into account the weight added to the device.
In its plan to launch an electric air taxi service, Joby Aviation is not alone. The firm has financial backing from Toyota. In addition, earlier this year, it acquired Uber Elevate, the shuttle company’s business that focused on creating flying taxis.