Japan’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle manufacturer, SkyDrive, has received a substantial $82 million grant from the Japanese government. This funding comes as part of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s initiative, the Next Generation Air Mobility Field, which is aimed at supporting startups working on cutting-edge technologies addressing societal challenges and displaying high growth potential. In this article, we delve into the details of SkyDrive’s grant and its vision for the future of eVTOLs.
Government Backing for Technological Advancement
SkyDrive’s substantial grant from the Japanese government is a testament to the country’s commitment to fostering innovation in advanced technologies. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s selection of SkyDrive for the Next Generation Air Mobility Field underscores the potential impact of eVTOLs on future transportation.
Manufacturing Partnership with Suzuki
One of SkyDrive’s significant announcements is the establishment of a manufacturing subsidiary named Sky Works Inc. This subsidiary will operate within a Suzuki-owned plant in Iwata-city, Shizuoka, and is set to commence production in the Spring of 2024. The collaboration between SkyDrive and Suzuki signifies a strategic partnership aimed at advancing business and technology research and development, manufacturing, mass production systems, and the exploration of international markets, including India.
SkyDrive’s Vision for the Future
SkyDrive’s overarching vision is to create a future where eVTOLs become a common mode of daily transportation in Japan and worldwide. The company distinguishes itself with a patent-pending rotor frame technology that enables rooftop landings, making it a convenient and accessible aircraft for various applications, from personal use to commuting, all while maintaining an affordable operating cost per person.
Expanding Beyond Japan
SkyDrive’s ambitions extend beyond its home country of Japan. The company has inked a deal with South Korean aircraft leasing and financing firm Solyu, involving the sale of up to 50 electric aerial vehicles (EAVs). This partnership aims to alleviate severe traffic congestion in Korea by utilizing EAVs effectively.
Pioneering Noise Reduction
In pursuit of its goal to create EAVs for daily use in neighborhoods, SkyDrive has collaborated with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to enhance noise reduction on eVTOL vehicles. While electric engines inherently contribute to lower noise levels, SkyDrive’s vision involves integrating EAVs into urban settings seamlessly.
Certification and Launch Plans
SkyDrive is currently seeking certification from Japan’s Civil Aeronautics Law for its SD-05, the eVTOL intended for an air taxi service set to launch in 2025. This certification process involves approval of the aircraft’s design, structure, strength, and performance.
In summary, SkyDrive’s receipt of an $82 million government grant represents a significant step forward in the development and proliferation of eVTOL technology. With manufacturing plans in place and a commitment to noise reduction and urban integration, SkyDrive is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of transportation.
- Japanese eVTOL manufacturer SkyDrive secures an $82 million grant from the government’s Next Generation Air Mobility Field initiative.
- SkyDrive and Suzuki collaborate on a manufacturing subsidiary to produce up to 100 flying vehicles annually.
- SkyDrive’s vision is to make eVTOLs a common mode of transportation globally, with a focus on affordable operating costs and rooftop landings.
- The company also partners with Solyu to address traffic congestion in Korea and works on noise reduction with JAXA.
- SkyDrive seeks certification for its SD-05 eVTOL, aiming to launch an air taxi service in 2025.
Hi, I’m Oren, founder at BIGINTRO, a content strategy agency that helps B2B companies drive growth. We develop search, social, PR, and content marketing strategies tailored to business goals. I also have a dog named Milo.