8 electric aviation startups transform flights logistics, according to industry experts: Crossing oceans and continents on planes powered only by electricity is still decades away from being a reality —at best-but that doesn't mean electric flights will remain a dream until then.
Today a veritable horde of startups are already working on getting battery-powered planes off the ground, and several of them are creating electric planes that can help people fly through cities, travel to meetings, send and receive packages, and soon, even, take commercial flights with less emissions than those generated by today's passenger planes.
This is a market still in its early stages, but new advances in battery and computer are firing: there are already more than 220 companies competing to get the technology mark the end of the era of the aircraft as known until now, and the beginning of a new era.
That's Why Business Insider has asked consultants and venture capital investors to share which are the top companies in the electric aviation sector that are worth keeping in mind. They are Kirsten Bartok Touw of AirFinance Capital, Dean Donovan of DiamondStream Partners and Robert Thomson of Roland Berger.
8 electric aviation startups transform flights logistics
Although everyone has stressed that it is difficult to talk about concrete startups such as big diamonds El bruto, since there is a lot of market still to be exploited, such as logistics, urban mobility, autonomous vehicles, light aircraft and jet, yes there is a handful that stands out as strong opponents who deserve to appear on the map.
How much money he has raised: 720 million dollars (608 million euros).
What it does: Joby is developing a vertical take-off and landing air taxi (eVTOL, acronym for vertical take-off and landing electric aircraft) that can offer efficient and clean service in cities.
Why it has been chosen: because all the experts consulted by Business Insider have spoken about it. The company has major investors behind it, such as Toyota during its latest round of Series C. The company began an official certification program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2018, and says it is looking to get it, along with its permission to operate, in 2023. It also has an agreement with Uber— which has widely announced its project -, which would allow it to quickly enter the market when it passes such controls.
a lot of money has been raised: 118.2 million euros.
What it does: Volocopter is another manufacturer of" air taxis " that is developing an eVTOL for the urban mobility market.
Why it has been chosen: Volocopter is another well-funded startup, whose investments come from very different sources such as Geely Global, the Chinese company that owns Volvo. The company has said it is two to three years away from bringing its products to market. The startup started selling tickets in 2019 for its first flights, still without specific dates.
"There's Joby and there's Volocopter, which looks like they're on their way to certification by 2023," said Bartok Touw. "As certification becomes something that is achieved and less of a question mark, then I think it will be easier for these companies to raise [more] capital."
How much money he has raised: 376,4 million dollars (318 million euros).
What it does: Lilium is designing a 5-seater eVTOL" jet".
Why she was chosen: Lilium is working on something different than other eVTOL startups. His Lilium Jet aircraft has two fixed wings with 36 electric motors(so it is not, technically, a jet). The aircraft has a range of about 160 miles, giving it a greater range than other drone or helicopter type designs.
How much money he has raised: about 200 million dollars (170 million euros).
What it does: Eviation is creating an all-electric private jet.
Why it has been chosen: Israeli startup Eviation unveiled its Alice aircraft at the 2019 Paris International Air Show and space. Its Alice 4 million Alice can carry 9 passengers (and 2 crew members) up to 600 miles, at just a fraction of the cost of a traditional aircraft. It has already received orders for 150 jets, such as Cape Air, which plans to replace its Cessna 402 fleet with another electric aircraft. Eviation expects to receive FAA certification around 2022, although its prototype was damaged during a fire in a test that the company did this year.
How much money he has raised: 2,3 million dollars (1,95 million euros).
What it does: the Sweden-based company is designing a 19-seat electric commercial aircraft.
Why it has been chosen: founded in 2018, Heart has only received funding from its initial round. However, it attracted the Swedish fund EQT Partners, which contributed largely to that round. The company also received a grant of 2.5 million euros from the European Innovation Council. The company unveiled its 19-seat" ES-19 " in September. The aircraft will have a range of about 200 miles, and will meet the demand of the Nordic countries.
How much money he has raised: 120,000 dollars (plus 650,000 in scholarships) (about 100,000 euros plus 550,000).
What it does: the Albany, New York-based company Wright Electric is working to build a full-size electric aircraft.
Why she has been chosen: Wright is still quite young, with quite small funding. But it is a company with potential, according to Robert Thomson of Roland Berger. Wright is working on a 186-seat electric plane that can fly up to two hours, with a range of about 300 miles.
Although the technology to make commercial aviation all-electric is still decades away from becoming a reality, Wright argues that three-quarters of all flights are being made on aircraft that are generating half of all aviation-related emissions, implying that the Wright 1 could make a difference as the aviation industry looks at how to remit its pollution. Wright is looking to put its first aircraft into service in 2030, and has partnered with European airline EasyJet as well as jet provider Jetex.
"Wright Electric is doing a good job trying to push forward," said Thomson.
How much money he has raised: 16 million dollars (14 million euros).
What it does: Elroy is developing an electric and autonomous aircraft to transport cargo and deliver packages.
Why she was chosen: Elroy is at the forefront of the fight to develop unmanned drones that help transport cargo, with applications ranging from delivering packages to transporting humanitarian aid to disaster-affected areas. Its initial design will have a range of 300 miles and will be able to carry between 110 and 230 kilos. The startup hopes to start using its creation in 2021.
"I like Elroy, they are doing something very cool," said Bartok Touw. "They are making bigger charges, which can carry like 140 kilos."
How much money he has raised: 31,1 million dollars (26 million euros).
What it does: Matternet is another logistics startup that is designing a drone to make deliveries, along with an integrated delivery platform.
Why it has been chosen: because the concept of Matternet of distribution with drones has already borne fruit. In 2019 UPS got the first FAA approval for an airline thanks to Matternet drones —what is known as a Part 135 certificate— to operate with these devices. UPS and Matternet started a program this year to try to transport medical supplies between campuses within the WakeMed Health System in Raleigh, North Carolina, and last April, when coronavirus lockdowns began in the US, the companies promoted a drone delivery system in The Villages, Florida, thus offering direct contact deliveries of prescriptions. The startup is also close to getting another FAA type Certification, which will allow it to expand more quickly.
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8 electric aviation startups transform flights logistics