United Airlines is investing $15 million in Eve Air Mobility, an electric aviation startup owned by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer. As part of the deal, United will purchase 200 of Eve’s electric air taxis, which can seat four passengers and take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
This is the second major investment from United in the nascent world of electric air mobility after investing an undisclosed amount of money in Archer last year. These companies propose to develop small, electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that can fly from rooftop to rooftop in a dense city as a taxi service. But so far, none have received clearance from federal aviation regulators to fly passengers.
But Eve may have to meet certain benchmarks before fulfilling its order with United, as the airline described it as a “conditional purchase agreement.” (United did not elaborate on the conditions in its press release.) Delivery of Eve’s first aircraft, which has a range of 60 miles, is expected in 2026.
The investment will come from United’s venture arm, United Airlines Ventures, which the airline is using to further its goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050 without the use of traditional carbon offsets.
United said it is investing in Eve primarily due to its ties to Embraer, which can provide access to parts and supplies for its air taxi service. Previously, Embraer said it would make flying taxis for Uber before the ride-hailing company sold off its eVTOL division to another startup.
Eve is the latest startup to receive United’s stamp of approval. Last year, the airline said it would purchase 15 supersonic aircraft from Boom Supersonic, with an option to increase that order to 50 jets.