Toyota has cashed into Joby Aviation's eVTOL design that has been worked and perfected on for the last 10 years. Out of the $590M series C finance round, Toyota covered $394M and offered its manufacturing, quality and cost control prowess to Joby Aviation.
While Toyota is a Japanese giant of manufacturing, Joby Aviation is a tightly packed company where everyone is considered family. In their Santa Cruz headquarters, the employees of Joby Aviation have been working for years to bring their dream of eVTOLs to reality. These two different worlds will now meet each other as they will work together to bring their revered air taxi to reality.
The goal of Joby Aviation is to have an electric aircraft that can practically land and take off anywhere as long as its a flat, open surface. Once it takes off, the propellers will then angle forward to thrust the aircraft up to speeds of 332 km/h.
One of the biggest issues with this idea is the noise levels attributed to it, as propellers rotate at extreme speeds. However, Joby Aviation uses smaller propellers that are claimed to emit only 1% of the noise of a traditional aircraft on takeoff. Once it's up in the skies, people on the ground will not be bothered by it at all.
The range is claimed at 240+ km per charge which is not a small number but considering its purpose, it is in no way suitable for an air taxi. Maybe it is no coincidence that Toyota decided to invest in Joby Aviation as rumors have been circulating that they are working on a hydrogen powertrain. With the energy density of hydrogen, the range could be multiplied 10 fold and chargin would be much, much quicker.
We are yet to see how these two companies will synergize together and whether their collaboration will bring us air taxis to officially move us into the next era of transportation.