A massive boost for eVTOL infrastructure.
By Chris Young
U.K. startup Urban-Air Port (UAP) announced that it has secured a new investment from Supernal, which was previously the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group.
The funds will help it build 200 vertiport sites in 65 cities across the globe over the next five years, a press statement reveals.
Building the eVTOL industry’s ‘essential infrastructure’
In September last year, we reported that UAP had partnered with Hyundai to work on improving the world’s lagging flying taxi infrastructure and help launch the world’s first fully operational urban airport (aka vertiport), called Air-One, by early 2022.
At the time, UAP pointed out that only 3 percent of investment into the eVTOL industry was going towards air taxi infrastructure despite warnings from NASA officials that infrastructure was a key obstacle faced by the burgeoning industry.
Now, UAP says it is one step closer to providing the “essential infrastructure” required “to help enable mass adoption of eVTOL aircraft.” The company also confirmed that Air-One will open for public visitation in Coventry City Centre in April in order to showcase its new infrastructure technologies. “The demonstration will show how AAM can help unlock the potential of sustainable mobility and how the industry will work to help reduce congestion, cut air pollution and decarbonize transport,” UAP explained.
Urban air mobility market expected to reach $12.7 billion by 2027
With the urban air mobility market forecasted to reach a $12.7 billion valuation by 2027, such projects will prove crucial in helping companies keep their flying taxis in the skies. Of course, before any of that can happen, companies like German eVTOL firm Volocopter, which aims to kickstart its services as early as 2023, will first have to gain certification for their drone-like flying taxi designs.
Other large-scale eVTOL infrastructure projects in the works include a recently-announced partnership between Volocopter and Saudi Arabia’s smart city project NEOM. They will collaborate to build an eVTOL ecosystem project that aims to start a flying taxi public transit system in the smart city in approximately two years’ time. Another German eVTOL startup Lilium, meanwhile, has drawn up its own plans to build 10 modular vertiports to help scale post-launch traffic.