Joby Aviation to Start Building Flying Taxis in Ohio in 2025

Joby Aviation to Start Building Flying Taxis in Ohio in 2025
Signage on the Joby Aviation Air Taxi outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York, on Aug. 11, 2021. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)
Katabella Roberts
Updated:

Ohio is set to begin manufacturing hundreds of cutting-edge vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft under an agreement with electric aircraft maker Joby Aviation.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced the billion-dollar agreement in a speech alongside state leaders and executives on Sept. 18 where he praised Ohio as the “birthplace of aviation.”

The Republican leader said investors will splash out $500 million to build the 140-acre aircraft production operation near Dayton International Airport which will be capable of producing up to 500 electric eVTOL aircraft annually.

According to Joby Aviation, the new facility will also support the creation of up to 2,000 jobs. The company plans to begin hiring in the coming months and encourages interested individuals to apply for roles online.

“Ohio’s legacy in aviation leadership begins with the Wright Brothers and continues now with Joby Aviation, as they launch a new era in advanced aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton,” said Mr. DeWine, referencing Orville and Wilbur Wright, who invented and flew the first powered aircraft.

“The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio’s production lines will redefine urban transportation and contribute to a transformational change in the way people and goods travel. We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made here in Ohio, the heart of aviation and aerospace,” he said.

Facility May Expand

Joby officials said the decision to build the manufacturing facility in Dayton followed an “extensive competitive site selection process.” However, the agreement is still contingent upon “standard due diligence, state and local approvals of incentives, permitting and other legal and regulatory matters as customarily accompany such investment projects.”

Dayton is home to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories, both of which have played a“ key role” in supporting the San Jose, California-headquartered company’s development, Joby said.

The new facility at Dayton International Airport will likely support “further growth” over time, providing enough land to build up to 2 million square feet of manufacturing space, officials said.

Construction on the manufacturing facility is expected to begin in 2024, with production set to start in 2025. Joby’s headquarters, research and development, and pilot production facility will remain in its current location in California.

The state of Ohio and several political organizations offered up to $325 million in incentives and benefits to develop the operations site in Ohio, Joby said.

‘Future of Aviation’

“We’re building the future of aviation right where it all started, in Dayton, Ohio,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “The Wright Brothers harnessed revolutionary technology of their time to open up the skies, and we intend to do the same—this time, bringing quiet and emissions-free flight that we hope will have an equally profound impact on our world.”
Joby Aviation went public in 2021 and received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration for test flights of its electric air taxi in June after benefiting from a $100 million investment from South Korea’s SK Telecom.

The aircraft maker plans to utilize a ridesharing service business model, transporting a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph with a maximum range of 100 miles. The aircraft will also be as “quiet as a conversation” according to the company’s website.

Joby Aviation plans to begin operating the aircraft as part of aerial ridesharing networks in cities and communities around the world, starting in 2025.

Delta Air Lines has invested $60 million in Joby Aviation eVTOL aircraft to ferry passengers to the airport.

Elsewhere on Monday, Joby said the U.S. Department of Energy has invited the electric air taxi maker to apply for a loan to support the development of the facility as a clean energy project. The financing under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program would provide access to low-interest loans for clean energy projects and would support the scaling of the facility, Joby said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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