A division of Hyundai and UK startup Urban-Air Port said Thursday they plan to build 65 electric urban airports worldwide to support burgeoning industries for delivery drones and electric air taxis.
As multiple companies race to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, infrastructure will be needed to service these new vehicles.
Investors hope to create an entirely new industry offering environmentally friendly, convenient, and quick taxi flights across town and between regional cities, avoiding traffic on the ground.
According to a news release, the collaboration is part of the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group’s larger plan to build 200 “electric air mobility hubs” around the world by the end of 2026.
Necessary infrastructure surrounding the maintenance and operation of eVTOLs has been named as a key challenge the industry must solve before it can thrive.
The numbers tell the story: $4.7 billion in investment money has been announced so far this year to develop eVTOLs such as Archer Aviation, Joby, and Lilium. But only $150 million has been earmarked for physical infrastructure required to fly them.
Describing itself as the “only company solely focused on deploying the infrastructure-technology essential for eVTOLs and delivery drones to operate,” Urban-Air Port said it will unveil “the world’s first fully operational urban-air port” early next year in Coventry, UK.