Embraer begins testing its electric car that flies

eVTOLs will take passengers through city skies without emitting polluting gases

Flying cars are no longer a plot for a cartoon or a science fiction film. A Eve, a subsidiary of Embraer, begins testing its eVTOLs in September  (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles) as a sustainable solution for urban mobility airline that should hit the market in 2026.

These stylish “flying cars” will carry out test flights in the city of Chicago (United States) for three weeks, and anyone who wants to participate will have to pay US$ 150 to take a spin in the new model.

The design of Eve's eVTOL resembles that of a helicopter. But its proposal is very different, as it serves as a less expensive and less polluting fast mobility alternative than the helicopter. The idea is that the vehicle will be used to quickly cover long distances in congested cities.

The expectation of Eve and other companies that are investing in urban air mobility is that people will use eVTOL for urban journeys for a price that is at most double what would be paid for a taxi or app car.

The advantage is that, in addition to not emitting CO2, these aircraft are quieter than helicopters. Its electric motor emits around 45 decibels, according to Super Interesting, almost the same as the sound of drizzle. The noise from a helicopter approaches 100 decibels, the same level as a chainsaw.

How does eVTOL work?

The difference between the eVTOL and the electric car is that it has eight rotors fixed around the wing to be able to take off and land in a vertical position. Therefore, not just any driver can drive it: you must have a pilot's license. The eVTOL is powered by electricity, so it is a non-polluting mode (the helicopter has a kerosene combustion engine).

The battery range of the Eve model is 100 km, but there are manufacturers promising to reach 250 km. The model being tested by the company will cost around US$ 3 million, a price lower than the helicopter, which reaches US$ 10 million.

Other models

As of July 2022, Eve has received 2,000 orders for its aerial vehicle. To compare: in 53 years of existence, Embraer sold 8,000 planes, points out Super Interessante.

But this will not be the only eVTOL on the Brazilian market. The airline Gol signed a contract to purchase 250 units of the VA-X4, a model that carries up to four passengers, created by the British company Vertical Aerospace. Azul has ordered 220 eVTOLs from Germany's Lilium, and intends to use them to make regional flights. Each aircraft carries six passengers.

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