Toyota goes to the sky, invests nearly $400 million in air rental start-up

Sky rental start-up Joby Aviation has announced that it has completed a $590 million financing, including $394 million from major investor Toyota Motor Corp. Joby Aviation is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and Toyota’s experience will help.

Toyota goes to the sky, invests nearly $400 million in air rental venture

After the completion of this round of financing, Joby Aviation raised a total of $720 million, with investors including Intel Capital, JetBlue Technologies, Toyota Artificial Intelligence, etc.

In addition, Toyota Vice President Yokoyama became a board member of Joby Aviation.

Founded in 2009 and headquartered in California, Joby Aviation was founded by Joe Ben Bevirt. Joby Aviation’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft can fly at speeds of up to 320 km/h and have a range of more than 240 km on a single charge. Because of its electric drivetrain and multi-rotor design, the aircraft is “100 times quieter than conventional aircraft when take-off and landing, and almost silent in the air,” according to Joby Aviation.

Mr. Toyoda, Toyota’s president and chief executive, said air transport had been Toyota’s long-term goal, and that the investment had set its sights on the sky while continuing its car business.

According to Joby Aviation, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft can be significantly more cost-effective on short-haul flights than conventional helicopters, ultimately reducing costs by maximizing use and saving fuel, to the point where “everyone can use it”.