US airline orders flying e-taxis for airport pickups

The electric air taxis are expected to start flights in the next five years

United Airlines, has placed an order for a fleet of up to 200 flying electric taxis for airport pick-ups.

The company has partnered with the air mobility developer Archer, to add electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to its fleet.

The electric taxis, which will use electric motors rather than traditional combustion engines and will start operations within the next five years, are expected to give customers a quick, economical and low carbon way to get to airports and commute in cities.

Archer’s aircraft are designed to travel distances of up to 96 kilometres at speeds of up to 240 kilometres per hour.

United estimates Archer’s eVTOL aircraft could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 47% per passenger on a trip between Hollywood and Los Angeles International Airport, one of the first cities where Archer plans to introduce its fleet.

United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby said: “Part of how United will combat global warming is by embracing emerging technologies that decarbonise air travel.

“By working with Archer, United is showing the aviation industry that now is the time to embrace cleaner, more efficient modes of transportation.

“With the right technology, we can curb the impact aircraft have on the planet, but we have to identify the next generation of companies who will make this a reality early and find ways to help them get off the ground.”

A few days ago, the British government backed the first hub for cargo drones and air taxis in Coventry. 

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