The facility will be built in the city of Taubaté, in the state of São Paulo, and it is set to manufacture flying taxis that could take off as soon as 2026.
On the 150th anniversary of the birth of Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont, Brazilian aeronautics firm Embraer and its subsidiary Eve Air Mobility have announced their plans to build a factory for “electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft” or eVTOL.
The companies have already received orders for 2,850 eVTOLs worth about $1.5bn (£1.2bn), from 28 clients in several countries, including helicopter operators, airlines and flight-sharing platforms, according to AFP.
The aircraft resembles small helicopters – according to designs – with enough space for up to six customers. The vehicles will be 100 per cent electric, allowing for emissions-free travel.
Initially, the flights will have a human pilot, but a later rollout of self-piloted vehicles is also being considered.
The cost of one of such trips has been reported to cost between $50 and $100 (£39-78) per person per trip.
Eve said it hopes to assemble a prototype this year, with US regulators recently released a timeline for air taxis to be flying as early as 2025.
The factory will be built in Taubaté, about 140km (87 miles) from São Paulo, Brazil’s economic capital. With 11.5 million people and extreme traffic jams, the city has been described as having the largest helicopter fleet in the world. In this context, the air taxi fleet could provide an alternative method of green transport, while also reducing congestion.
“This decision is aligned with our growth strategy plan, which is driven by innovation and sustainability,” Embraer president Francisco Gomes Neto said in a statement. “We believe in the enormous potential of the global Urban Air Mobility market, and we reinforce our commitment to Eve as one of the major players in this industry”.
Eve vice president of program management and operation, Alice Altissimo, added: “We are focused on achieving the highest quality standards in eVTOL manufacturing through increased knowledge and consideration of an innovative approach. Following extensive research on advanced manufacturing and innovation concepts for over a year, we are now prepared to establish our initial factory for eVTOL production”.
In February, the UK announced £113m in funding for projects developing technologies to enable flights with net-zero carbon emissions, including electric flying taxis and hydrogen-powered aircraft.
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