Mar 31, 2021 - Economy

Electric plane startup Lilium goes public in bid to take commercial flight by 2024

A photo of an electric plane.

Lilium Jet. Photo courtesy of Lilium

Electric aviation startup Lilium is going public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company as it looks to commercialize a seven-seat vertical takeoff and landing plane (VTOL) for regional travel.

Driving the news: The Munich-based company yesterday announced a merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. that values the combined company at roughly $3.3 billion.

What's next: Lilium said the deal and new investments from several funds will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to help launch the commercial operation of Lilium Jet in 2024.

  • The plane has a range of over 155 miles, a cruising speed of 175 miles per hour, allowing it to provide "sustainable, high-speed transportation" for regional travel, the announcement states.
  • Per Reuters, "Lilium intends to launch its first network in Florida, where it will site its first Vertiport at Lake Nona, a smart city being built near Orlando International Airport."

Yes, but: Several steps remain before this vision is realized, including various sign-offs from aviation regulators on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • The Verge has more here on the Lilium deal.

Why it matters: Electric aviation holds the promise of curbing carbon emissions from air travel, and investors are staking a number of companies.

  • Lilium follows plans by electric VTOL hopefuls Joby Aviation and Archer to go public as well.

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