California loses out on eVTOL manufacturing but keeps an edge in batteries, for now

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California-based Joby Aviation on September 18 announced Dayton, Ohio as the location of the first scaled manufacturing facility for its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The facility is expected to come online in 2025 and will be capable of delivering up to 500 aircraft per year. However, it won’t need to accommodate electric motor and battery production — at least not right away.

Joby confirmed that for the time being, it will continue to make eVTOL powertrains at its dedicated research and development site in San Carlos, California, which can supply “hundreds” of units per year if required. Down the road in San Jose, rival eVTOL developer Archer Aviation is pursuing a similar strategy, illustrating how the considerations around manufacturing electric motors and batteries differt from those for airframes and other aircraft systems, even for companies that are developing their electric powertrains in-house.

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