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Exclusive: Flying taxis set for takeoff, Deloitte says

Alan Neuhauser
Jun 7, 2022
Data: Adapted from a Deloitte report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Battery-powered aircraft taxis are set to take flight as early as two years from now, according to a Deloitte report shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) unlock an attractive alternative to airport taxis and short regional flights, the report says, coming with the promise of cheaper fares and faster flight times.

  • Also in the eVTOL crosshairs: expensive Amtrak fares.

Of note: eVTOL startups have raised more than $6 billion through SPACs alone.

Yes, but: Can these vehicles compete with current options for regional commuters? Deloitte's answer is a strong yes.

  • eVTOLs are on track to cost about $3 per mile — more than the typical $2 per mile for a standard taxi, but less than the $3.80 per mile for a premium taxi such as Uber Black, the report says.

Fraction of the time: A flying taxi trip is just 15 minutes from Lower Manhattan to JFK Airport, compared to an hour-plus in a taxi.

Details: The efficiency continues for longer trips, Deloitte says, such as New York City to Boston.

  • The typical airline flight from the Big Apple to Beantown is about $110, with a total travel time of four hours, including security.
  • For Amtrak's Acela, the fare is about $172, with four to five hours of travel time. First-class tickets can climb to nearly $400.
  • For an eVTOL trip, it'll cost about $570 in 2025, dropping to $475 in 2030. Travel time: just under 90 minutes.

Between the lines: Big questions remain around noise, regulatory approval and how quickly startups will transition from carrying packages to ferrying people.

What we're watching: Six "future air mobility" startups have gone public via SPAC since last year.

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