In order to assist cut carbon emissions once the aircraft are introduced to the market and take the place of vehicle excursions, United Airlines is investing additional money in the development of electric air taxis.
The carrier announced on Thursday that it had contracted with Eve Air Mobility, a company funded by Embraer, to sell 200 electric air taxis, with the option to acquire 200 more. Eve, which went public on the New York Stock Exchange in May, is receiving a $15 million investment from United, a Chicago-based company.
United stated that it anticipates receiving the first aircraft as early as 2026.
The announcement comes after a $10 million deposit and an agreement to buy 100 electric planes from Archer Aviation.
Other airlines, such as American, have also committed to buying electrical vertical-take-off and landing aircraft, or Evtol for short, on the grounds that the new technology may lower emissions, particularly on short journeys like commutes to airports.
The one-way cost to the airport was estimated by United Airlines Ventures president Michael Leskinen to be between $100 and $150.
Leskinen noted in a call with reporters that the infrastructure for the aircraft is still in doubt and that Evtol startups still require certification from aviation regulators. Infrastructure would be needed for the aircraft’s takeoff and landing.
However, he added, “We are optimistic about the industry’s growth later in this decade.