Japanese automaker, Suzuki Motor Corporation, and SkyDrive Inc., a pioneer in aerial mobility solutions, have announced a partnership to develop and manufacture electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles, often referred to as “flying cars”. The production is slated to commence in the spring of 2024 at Suzuki’s plant in Shizuoka, Japan.
Despite their popular moniker of “flying cars”, these eVTOLs neither resemble traditional automobiles in their design nor function. They represent a step forward in clean, efficient, and low-noise transport technology, offering multiple benefits over conventional aircraft which tend to be noise-polluting, energy-inefficient, and environmentally unfriendly. Yet, eVTOLs have to surmount hurdles such as limited battery life, safety concerns, air traffic management issues, and evolving regulatory landscapes.
The Suzuki eVTOL will sport a weight of 1,400 kilograms and will measure 13 meters by 13 meters, including the rotors. Featuring 12 rotors, this flying vehicle is expected to achieve a cruising speed of 100 kilometers per hour, with a maximum range of approximately 15 kilometers.
The cockpit of the Suzuki eVTOL will accommodate one pilot and two passengers, indicating that the vehicle is being designed with a focus on catering to tourists and sightseers. However, the potential for longer trips will be curtailed due to the limitations in range and power.
The companies have yet to disclose the official launch date or timeline for the commercial availability of these flying cars.