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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.

Go deeper: Transportation's next big thing: flying taxis

Go deeper

11 mins ago - Health

CDC looks at tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

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