The Next Phase at Joby

You might know Joby Aviation as a pioneer in the development of novel aircraft enabled by electric propulsion. For a number of years, Joby did important aerodynamics work with NASA and others on projects such as the X-57 Maxwell and LEAPTech.

What you might not know is that for nearly a decade the company has also been working on a vehicle to achieve a specific mission: to enable a transportation service that saves people an hour a day in their day-to-day travel.

We’ve been working toward a future where you can book a flight on one of our vehicles with one click. It’ll pick you up from a nearby vertiport and fly you safely to your destination. You’ll get there at least five times faster than driving, with zero emissions.

This is an ambitious goal, and we think about tackling it in three distinct steps.

First, we’ll build the right vehicle. Second, we’ll use that vehicle to enable an air-transportation service. Third, we’ll scale that service—increasing manufacturing volume, driving utilization, and increasing available infrastructure—to steadily lower prices for passengers.

We are now squarely focused on the first step. We’re in the hard business of vehicle development because the right vehicle is the linchpin to opening up a new market for short-hop air transportation.

To us, the right vehicle is one that delivers on the following goals:

  • Unparalleled safety through redundant systems
  • Low noise
  • Range and speed optimized for moving multiple people quickly to and from their destinations

Getting each of these right is critical. If the vehicle is too loud, it won’t be able to take off and land where it’s most convenient for passengers. If range is too short, it will be limited to only a small percentage of trips. If speed is too slow, it won’t save people enough time.

Our team has made significant progress on a vehicle that achieves these targets over the past four years. After building and flight-testing one of the world’s first full-scale, all-electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) vehicle prototypes, we’re now developing a commercial version of that design and preparing that vehicle for certification. Our most recent funding round will help accelerate that effort.

We expect to have more news to share soon on our vehicle development progress and related areas—including aircraft routing, ground infrastructure, and pilot training and support. Of course, if you are excited about these goals and interested in joining our team, please check out our open positions here.

Before we end, however, we want to spend a moment on the costs of vehicle and the cost of trips.

One of the common questions around eVTOL vehicles is: can these flights be affordable?

It’s natural to think about our vehicle—and this new class of eVTOL vehicles, more generally—in the way we now think about helicopters or private planes: as something used by the affluent.

How can we make the economics work so that these vehicles can be accessible to everyone?

Here’s how we think about it:

Fuel costs and other operating expenses (like maintenance and depreciation) are a significant component of air travel costs. A small, efficient helicopter on a short, 25mi trip can use more than $40 in fuel. Our fully-electric vehicle can cover the same distance at twenty times lower energy cost with significant reductions in other operating expenses. That savings can be delivered directly to customers.

While our vehicle may be more expensive on a per-unit basis than traditional combustion planes or helicopters, the end-cost to customers can be lower if the vehicle is both high-capacity and highly-utilized. This is how existing commercial airlines are able to drive down costs. They keep their vehicles filled, and moving a lot of people most of the time. As a result, they can spread the fixed costs of the vehicle and the variable costs of pilots and maintenance over a larger number of passenger trips at progressively lower ticket prices.

Finally, we can drive down cost (and improve pickup times too) by scaling manufacturing, putting more vehicles into service, and operating from steadily more takeoff-and-landing locations.

It’s going to take a lot of work to get these right—and it all starts with the vehicle.

However, if we do, we believe we can offer point-to-point transportation that is significantly better than driving and steadily more affordable over time. What’s especially exciting is that the feedback loop is a positive one in a number of ways: it delivers progressively better service to customers, steadily lower fares and shifts an ever greater percentage of trips to zero-emissions vehicles.

—The Joby Team

Joby Aviation Raises $590 Million in Series C Financing to Launch Air Taxi Service

Toyota Motor Corporation Leads the Investment Round with $394 Million Investment

Santa Cruz, CA, January 15, 2020 – Joby Aviation, a pioneer in the development of an electric air taxi, has raised $590 million in Series C funding led by Toyota Motor Corporation. Prior investors, including SPARX Group, Intel Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, and AME Cloud Ventures, also contributed to the round, and were joined by new investors Baillie Gifford and Global Oryx (ALJ family’s investment arm). Shigeki Tomoyama, the Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation, will join Joby Aviation’s board of directors. This new investment brings the Company’s total funding, including previous rounds, to $720 million. 

Joby Aviation’s mission is to bring fast, affordable, and zero-emissions air mobility to communities worldwide. Over the past 10 years, the Company’s team of engineers and physicists has developed a quiet, all-electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, which will be instrumental in the commercial launch of the emerging on-demand urban air taxi market. Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support the development and production of Joby Aviation’s aircraft. This support, along with the capital investment, will accelerate the certification and deployment of this new mode of local transportation.

“We are building a new system for transportation to transform your daily life, at greater safety and, in time, at a similar cost to driving,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and this new industry from one of the world’s leading automakers. Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of their products driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess helping to drive us to achieve our dream of saving a billion people an hour a day.”

“Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” said Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda. “As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavor, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.”

About the aircraft:

Joby Aviation’s aircraft is a piloted, five-seat vehicle capable of both vertical takeoff and landing and highly efficient, wingborne forward flight. It is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge. The aircraft is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead. The passenger experience is optimized for comfortable ride-sharing operations and efficient entry and exit.

About Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation is a California-based aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (designated by the FAA as the S4) to enable the deployment of fast, quiet, and affordable air taxi services. The Company’s mission is to get people to their destination five times faster than driving, reduce urban congestion, and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit. Founded in 2009, Joby pioneered the development of eVTOL aircraft and has offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, and Marina, CA. You can find more information at www.jobyaviation.com.

Press contact: Mojgan Khalili, press@joby.aero, 408-489-4015

About the aircraft: Joby Aviation’s aircraft is designed for 4 passengers plus a pilot. It can travel more than 150 miles on a single charge, is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and is near-silent in flyover.

  • Aircraft type: Piloted, all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxi
  • Source of power: All-electric, zero emissions
  • Capacity: Designed for four passengers plus a pilot
  • Sound: The aircraft is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent when flying overhead.
  • Range: The aircraft is capable of speeds of 200 miles per hour and can fly over 150 miles on a single charge.
  • Cost: The aircraft will be operated as a service with per-trip passenger pricing. Over time, that price should approach the cost of ground transportation.
  • Redundancy: High levels of redundancy designed into the aircraft enhance safety and reliability.

Toyota and Joby Aviation are Flying to New Heights Together

  • Toyota to share expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s breakthrough eVTOL aircraft
  • Toyota has invested $394M as lead investor in Joby’s Series C financing

SANTA CRUZ, CA (January 15, 2020) Toyota is exploring a new flight path for mobility through a new collaboration with Joby Aviation (Joby), an aerospace company that is developing and commercializing all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to enable the deployment of fast, quiet and affordable air transportation services. The collaboration reflects Toyota’s recognition of the long-term potential of the urban air mobility market to meet the evolving needs of society, as well as Joby’s position as an industry leader in working to deliver safe and affordable air travel to everyone.

“Air transportation has been a long-term goal for Toyota, and while we continue our work in the automobile business, this agreement sets our sights to the sky,” said Toyota Motor Corporation President and CEO Akio Toyoda. “As we take up the challenge of air transportation together with Joby, an innovator in the emerging eVTOL space, we tap the potential to revolutionize future transportation and life. Through this new and exciting endeavor, we hope to deliver freedom of movement and enjoyment to customers everywhere, on land, and now, in the sky.”

As the lead investor in Joby’s $590M Series C financing, Toyota is continuing to leverage emerging technologies to provide “Mobility for All.” In addition to investing $394M in Joby, Toyota will share its expertise in manufacturing, quality and cost controls for the development and production of Joby Aviation’s breakthrough eVTOL aircraft. Joby’s design is well matched to serve the needs of an emerging air transportation market where commuters and travelers embrace the benefits of aviation on a daily basis within and between urban centers. More details of the prototype aircraft and production plans will be announced at a later date.

Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt said: “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us, and for this new industry, from one of the world’s leading automakers. Toyota is known globally for the quality and reliability of their products driven by meticulous attention to detail and manufacturing processes. I am excited to harness Toyota’s engineering and manufacturing prowess to drive us toward our dream of helping a billion people save an hour+ commuting time every day.”

Both companies believe that leveraging synergies with the automobile technologies as well as integrating best practices from the Toyota Production System will help facilitate the efficient mass production of these aircraft, while also helping Joby deliver high quality, durable and reliable aircraft, and meeting exacting safety standards.

Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President Shigeki Tomoyama will join Joby’s board of directors and play an active role in setting strategic direction at the Board level.

Automotive Meets Aviation

Toyota is embracing emerging technologies as it transforms into a mobility company that is better equipped to meet the unique mobility needs of individuals everywhere. The new collaboration with Joby Aviation is anticipated to help bring urban on-demand air transportation into the mainstream and initiate a new category of moving people and goods.

It is anticipated that eVTOLs will help to create new mobility services with the potential to help alleviate persistent mobility challenges. Those challenges include traffic congestion in urban areas, increased environmental burden and the lack of transportation in underpopulated areas, among others.

Joby is a leader in the development of eVTOL aircraft which combine elements of helicopters and small airplanes, offering benefits that include high reliability, zero emissions, fast flight speeds and quiet operations. The aircraft also offers lower operating costs, lower costs of maintenance, and enhanced safety features.

For information about Joby, go to http://joby.aero.

About Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is the global mobility company that introduced the Prius hybrid-electric car in 1997 and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai, in 2014. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota has been making cars since 1937. Today, Toyota proudly employs 370,000 employees in communities around the world. Together, they build around 10 million vehicles per year in 27 countries and regions, from mainstream cars and premium vehicles to mini-vehicles and commercial trucks, and sell them in more than 170 countries and regions under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino. For more information, please visit www.toyota-global.com.

Joby Aviation Secures $100M in Series B Funding

Joby Aviation announced it has secured $100M in Series B financing to take its all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft into pre-production and certification. The financing was led by Intel Capital, and includes strategic investors Singapore-based EDBI, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Toyota AI Ventures. Also participating are new investors Allen & Company, AME Cloud Ventures, and Ron Conway, as well as existing investors Capricorn Investment Group, 8VC, Sky Dayton and Paul Sciarra. With its previously-unannounced Series A financing led by Capricorn in 2016, this brings the company’s total funding to over $130 million.

As technological and material advancements usher in a transformation of the $10T transportation industry, Joby Aviation is leading eVTOL innovation and has designed, built and flight-tested a fully-electric, vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft that is optimized for local and regional air-transportation-as-a-service. Joby Aviation’s 5-seat vehicle will be faster than existing rotorcraft, fly at least 150 miles on a charge, and be 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft during takeoff and landing, and near-silent in flyover.

Joby Aviation is focused on building a new transportation solution that rises above the constraints of ground infrastructure to offer a safe, sustainable, and much faster means of getting from point A to point B. The company aims to solve the problem of city congestion and long commute times.

“People waste billions of hours sitting on roads worldwide each year. We envision a future where commuting by eVTOL is a safer, faster, and cost-competitive alternative to ground transportation,” said Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “We have spent the last ten years developing the technologies that have made our full-scale technical demonstrator possible and are now ready to build a commercial version of the aircraft. We’re excited to have attracted the backing of leaders in auto manufacturing, data intelligence, and transportation sectors.”

In addition to focusing on product development and flight certification, the company plans to expand its team—including experts in structural engineering, electrical engineering, power electronics, battery electrochemistry, certification, flight controls, and software.

“Intel believes the future of transportation is data-driven – whether you’re talking about autonomous cars or next-generation air travel,” said Wendell Brooks, president, Intel Capital. “Joby Aviation has been laser-focused on delivering a unique vehicle into the market. This is a truly disruptive technology with the potential to push the geographic boundaries of where people can live and work.”

“For over a decade, Capricorn has been investing in companies tackling tough, high-impact challenges,” said Dipender Saluja, managing partner of the Technology Impact Fund, Capricorn Investment Group.  “Some of these companies have gone on to become global leaders in electric ground transportation, space and earth imaging. We were excited to lead the Series A financing of Joby in 2016, and look forward to continuing our work with them in this new stage of their vehicle development program.”

“Joby Aviation’s advanced leadership in the eVTOL industry will significantly alleviate transportation challenges on the ground, and enable rapid and reliable commuting between and within cities,” said Ms. Swee Yeok CHU, CEO and president, EDBI. “We look forward to Joby contributing to future urban aerial mobility.”

“At JetBlue Technology Ventures, we believe the regional transportation ecosystem is ripe for disruption and startups like Joby Aviation will revolutionize how people move across urban areas,” said Bonny Simi, president, JetBlue Technology Ventures. “We are excited about the transformative potential of eVTOLs and believe Joby Aviation is the most advanced company in this emerging sector. Its vehicle platform will be the standard to beat.”

“Toyota’s mission is to improve human mobility,” said Jim Adler, managing director, Toyota AI Ventures. “Joby Aviation’s vision of delivering safe, affordable and accessible air-transportation-as-a-service fits squarely in our view of the future of transportation: one that is highly networked and increasingly automated.”