South Florida – and its infamous traffic congestion – continue to be a beacon for the emerging air taxi industry.
This week Eve Air Mobility announced it hopes to bring its all-electric air taxis to Miami Dade County. The Melbourne, Florida-based company, a subsidiary of Brazilian aerospace firm Embraer (NYSE: ERJ), builds electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft vehicles, better known as eVTOLs. The vehicles can take off vertically like a helicopter and then fly like a regular plane.
Eve is working with partners like charter airline GlobalX to bring its vehicles to the skies as air taxis, starting with a route between Miami International Airport and the Miami Beach Convention Center. GlobalX recently signed a letter of intent to order up to 200 of Eve’s aircraft, which should be certified and delivered by 2026.
David Rottblatt, VP of business development for Eve, said South Florida is positioned to become an early adopter of flying taxis.
“The traffic and lack of public transit options to get from suburban neighborhoods to commercial centers like downtown Miami or Las Olas makes it attractive for people who want a faster way to get them from Point A to Point B,” he said.
How much would an air taxi ride set you back? That’s likely to vary by operator, but Rottblatt said preliminary calculations made by Eve indicate a 20-mile commute will cost at least $100. That could potentially drop to $50 as the industry scales.
Automating flights would be one way to cut costs. Boarding an aircraft without a pilot might seem like something out of science fiction, but Rottblatt said much of the technology needed for self-flying planes – like the autopilot function commercial airline pilots use shortly after takeoff – already exists.
“We’ve been marching down this path for a while,” he said.
Eve is far from the only air taxi concept to set its sights on South Florida. Here’s a look at four other companies making moves to bring flying taxis to the region:
Last August, Palo Alto, California-based Archer Aviation entered into an agreement to build air taxi takeoff and landing sites on the rooftops of parking garages owned by Miami’s Reef Technology. Archer hopes to begin offering its air taxi service in markets like Miami and Los Angeles by 2024.
Joby Aviation, another California company developing eVTOLs, also partnered with Reef Technology to bring its aerial ridesharing service to Miami by 2024. The 10-year-old company aims to introduce its service to markets like New York, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Joby, which says its air taxis can travel up to 150 miles on a single charge, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last year after merging with blank check company Reinvent Technology Partners.
Last October, the county approved a five-acre lease for Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial at Palm Beach County International Airport. Ferrovial is developing an air taxi take-off and landing site at the airport in partnership with Germany-based Lilium, the firm building the six-person aircraft. The companies aim to develop a network of 10 vertiports across Florida.
This month Supernal, an eVTOL company that serves as the urban air mobility division of Hyundai Motor Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Miami. As part of the agreement, Supernal will work with community organizations to integrate the air taxi service into existing transit networks, like the Metrorail, Metrobus and Metromover. But don’t expect to use a Supernal air taxi as part of your commute anytime soon – the company plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028.