Joby Aviation, a California-based eVTOL developer, has announced a new long-term supply agreement with Toyota Motor Corporation to collaborate in the mass production of electric passenger aircraft in the US. This agreement builds upon an existing partnership between the two companies. The eVTOL start-up, Joby Aviation ($JOBY), aims to operate a fast and quiet passenger transportation service to cities globally using electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. In 2018, the company secured $100 million in funding, led by venture arms of Intel, JetBlue, and Toyota. Later, in 2020, Toyota led Joby’s Series C funding round, investing $394 million out of the $590 million pledged.
As part of this investment, Toyota acquired a minority stake in Joby Aviation and committed to sharing its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support the eVTOL company’s development and production of electric aircraft. With the new supply agreement, Toyota and Joby are continuing their years-long partnership to support Joby’s efforts in scaling eVTOL production. This partnership is crucial for Joby’s vision of bringing fast and affordable electric air travel to the masses, and Toyota’s expertise in automotive manufacturing could significantly contribute to the mass production of electric aircraft.
Toyota, the largest external shareholder of Joby Aviation, is taking further steps to expand its involvement in the development and production of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. In addition to previously announced collaborations, which included sharing production and assembly advice and insights into the design of Joby’s pilot production line, Toyota has signed a new long-term supply agreement to provide Joby with crucial powertrain and actuation components required for the production of its eVTOLs. This partnership strengthens the bond between the two companies, supporting their mutual goal of achieving mass production of eVTOLs in the United States.
Toyota Motor Corporation Connected Company president Keiji Yamamoto spoke about the latest agreement with Joby Aviation, “We are very pleased to have reached this milestone with our key partner. Our mutual goal is mass production of eVTOL and helping Joby apply the best practices of the Toyota Production System in meeting high quality, reliability, safety, and strict cost standards. We are excited about the potential for further collaboration as we seek to realize Mobility for All with a seamlessly integrated air-to-ground mobility network.”
Joby Aviation’s latest long-term supply agreement with Toyota aims to boost the mass production of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the US. Under the agreement, Toyota will provide Joby with powertrain and actuation components that will be vital to the production of its eVTOLs. These components will be designed by Joby and manufactured by Toyota, then shipped to Joby’s powertrain and electronics facility in San Carlos, California, for final assembly. The eVTOLs will then be integrated at Joby’s pilot production line in Marina.
With Toyota’s help, Joby aims to deliver a “best-in-class” eVTOL at scale. The companies designed the pilot line to validate scalable tooling and assembly processes at low volumes before attempting mass eVTOL production. Joby’s previous collaborations with Toyota have allowed the automaker to share its expertise in manufacturing, quality, and cost controls to support Joby’s development and production of electric aircraft. The eVTOL technology could eventually transport passengers in Japan, where Joby is already working with Aero Asahi, a subsidiary of Toyota, on a taxi shuttle service overseas. Joby has already applied to the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) to validate its aircraft type certification and plans to obtain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification as well. With this new agreement, Toyota expands its involvement in eVTOL development and production, cementing its role as Joby’s largest external shareholder. Joby’s partnership with Toyota is a significant milestone in the development of eVTOL technology and could pave the way for a new era of sustainable, urban air mobility.