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United Airlines raises bet on electric air taxis with 200 aircraft from upstart Eve


United Airlines ordered 200 Eve Evtol aircraft.

Source: United Airlines

United Airlines is pouring more cash into the long run of electrical air taxis, which the carrier says could help reduce carbon emissions once the aircraft come to market and replace automobile trips.

The carrier said Thursday that it agreed to purchase 200 electric air taxis from Eve Air Mobility, an Embraer-backed startup, and that it has options to buy 200 more. Chicago-based United can be investing $15 million in Eve, which listed on the Latest York Stock Exchange in May.

United said it expects the primary deliveries of the aircraft as early as 2026.

The announcement follows an agreement to buy 100 electric aircraft from Archer Aviation together with a $10 million deposit.

Other airlines including American have also invested in or committed to buying electrical vertical-take-off-and-landing aircraft, or Evtol for brief, arguing that the brand new technology could reduce emissions, particularly on short routes similar to commutes to the airport.

Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, projected the one-way cost to the airport could be about $100 to $150.

Evtol startups still need certification from aviation regulators and questions remain about infrastructure for the aircraft, Leskinen said on a call with reporters. The aircraft would require infrastructure for takeoff and landing.

“But we feel good in regards to the industry accelerating later this decade,” he said.

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