Electric vertical takeoff and landing developer Joby Aviation announced a “strong financial foundation” as the California-based company reported a year-end balance sheet of 1.1 billion in cash and short-term investments, with a fourth quarter net loss of roughly $67 million.
Joby Aviation leaders, including founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt and CFO Matt Field, spoke about the financial results and touted the progress Joby has made in preparing for commercial operations during a February 22 conference call.
Company leaders said they are confident the eVTOL is on track for passenger service in 2025.
In a letter to investors, Joby highlighted its fourth quarter successes. The eVTOL company became the first to complete Means of Compliance—the second of five stages required by the FAA to certify aircraft for passenger use. The startup was also the first to complete the first stage when its certification basis was published in the Federal Register in November. While considered “essentially complete” Joby stated about 6 percent of the workload remains ongoing, which it says is typical “to address minor design changes and improvements later in the process.” Apart from Joby, Archer Aviation is the only other U.S. company to have completed its stage one certification basis with the FAA and expects to have its stage two Means of Compliance complete in mid-2023.
Joby’s financial report also mentioned significant progress in the later stages of the type certification process—noting that it is now at 53 percent acceptance for stage three.
Final assembly of its first company-conforming aircraft has begun—meaning an aircraft is built according to its intended design and with a full quality management system in place. The aircraft’s main structures such as the fuselage, wing, and tail have been built and are being assembled while wiring, electronics and other systems are being installed. Joby says it is currently in the process of selecting a location for its new production plant and expects to begin flight testing in the first half of 2023.
Progress with testing has also advanced in the fourth quarter. Joby has carried out structural wing tests, propeller bird strike tests, as well as temperature, humidity, radio-frequency, lightning, and thermal characterization tests on its battery module.
According to Joby, “In 2022 alone, we flew more than 10,800 miles with our pre-production prototype aircraft, successfully completing more than 1,200 defined flight test points and generating a significant amount of valuable data that we use to optimize our production aircraft to meet our certification and operational goals.”
Looking ahead, the company says 2023 will be a transition from planning to delivering. Its primary focus will remain on certification, manufacturing, and its support for Department of Defense contract obligations.
Overall, Joby expects 2023 net cash used in operating activities and purchases of property and equipment to range from $360 to $380 million.