With 200 planes from startup Eve, United Airlines increases its bet on electric air taxis

United Airlines is investing additional money in the development of electric air taxis, which, according to the carrier, might help cut carbon emissions once the aircraft are commercially available and take the place of automobile travel.

The carrier said on Thursday that it has contracted with Eve Air Mobility, an Embraer, to purchase 200 electric air taxis.

company with VC backing, and it has the option to buy 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 said it anticipates the first delivery of the aircraft as early as 2026. The declaration comes after a deal to buy 100 electric planes from Archer Aviation, with a deposit of $10 million.

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 teleconference with reporters that the infrastructure for the aircraft is still in doubt and that Evtol startups still require clearance from aviation regulators. Infrastructure would be needed for the aircraft’s takeoff and landing. However, he said, “We are optimistic about the industry’s growth later in this decade.

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