BMW i Ventures invests in optical AI software company Alitheon
Genesis luxury flagship SUV GV80 debuts in Seoul with 6-cylinder diesel

Toyota invests $394M in, collaborates with Joby on air mobility

Toyota is collaborating with Joby Aviation (Joby), an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to enable the deployment of fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services.

The collaboration reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to meet the evolving needs of society, as well as Joby’s position as an industry leader in working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone.

66BD51A0-632B-41E6-B098-FBB0006D5680

Joby’s eVTOL


Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky. As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavor, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.

—Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda

As the lead investor in Joby’s $590-million Series C financing, Toyota is continuing to leverage emerging technologies to provide "Mobility for All."

In addition to investing $394 million in Joby, Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s eVTOL aircraft.

Joby’s design is well matched to serve the needs of an emerging air transportation market where commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers. More details of the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced at a later date.

This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us, and for this new industry, from one of the world's leading automakers. Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of their products driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess to drive us toward our dream of helping a billion people save an hour+ commuting time every day.

—Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt

Both companies believe that leveraging synergies with the automobile technologies as well as integrating best practices from the Toyota Production System will help facilitate the efficient mass production of these aircraft, while also helping Joby deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft, and meeting exacting safety standards.

Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby’s board of directors and play an active role in setting strategic direction at the Board level.

Toyota is embracing emerging technologies as it transforms into a mobility company that is better equipped to meet the unique mobility needs of individuals everywhere. The new collaboration with Joby Aviation is anticipated to help bring urban on-demand air transportation into the mainstream and initiate a new category of moving people and goods.

Toyota anticipates that eVTOLs will help to create new mobility services with the potential to help alleviate persistent mobility challenges. Those challenges include traffic congestion in urban areas, increased environmental burden and the lack of transportation in underpopulated areas, among others.

Joby is a leader in the development of eVTOL aircraft which combine elements of helicopters and small airplanes, offering benefits that include high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds and quiet operations. The aircraft also offers lower operating costs, lower costs of maintenance, and enhanced safety features.

Comments

electric-car-insider.com

I applaud Toyota’s vision and courage to make this investment, but curious why they would believe battery energy density would be sufficient to power a VTOL (!) but not sufficient to make a daily driver equivalent to a Tesla Model 3 (300+ mile range).

Davemart

Cost is relatively unimportant in this application.

No one doubts that you can run cars on electricity, but how much the batteries will cost to do so, and how often they will need replacing, is another matter entirely.

Toyota is suiting the application to what we have, so they are doing local NEV cars, and using FCEVs for long distance.

It seems conceivable that now that they have Toyota on board, Joby will look at a heavier, longer range version using them

The technology should be chosen to suit the application, not specified as a one size fits all panacea

gryf

ntegrating best practices from the Toyota Production System will help facilitate the efficient mass production of these aircraft . . .
According to the Joby website Toyota will share expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls. The Toyota Production System, which I studied extensively was the pioneer in manufacturing transformation and was copied worldwide.
While the first applications will be for short range Air Taxis, for longer range cruise rmissions a hybrid approach (more likely gas turbines) will be needed where Toyota has significant expertise. Also, the FAA will probably require an APU even in Air Taxi applications. Several manufacturers like Safran and Honeywell already have small APU that would easily fit this requirement.

Davemart

gryf

Many thanks.
Yours is an informed post, as always.

Those who diss Toyota and their manufacturing expertise don't know what they are talking about, at all.

They are still the gold standard.

And companies fall over themselves to work with them, as although exacting, they offer real collaboration, and look after their partners and contractors.

SJC_1

Good to see Joby getting investment.

gryf

After checking into the Joby S4 which has actually flown. This looks like a real contender for eVTOL air taxi applications. Joby Aviation worked with NASA on the X-57 so they know electric aircraft technology and now have major support.
The Joby S4 will be an all electric eVTOL with a 200 mph cruise speed and 150 mile range certainly adequate for air taxi requirements. Also, it will be 100 times quieter than a helicopter.
In the future companies like Rolls Royce could provide long range capability (they have already successfully tested the hybrid-electric version of the M250 gas turbine in a ground demonstration setting using three operating modes: series hybrid, parallel hybrid and turbo-electric). The M250 is already used in many helicopters and general aviation aircraft.

The comments to this entry are closed.