Brazilian electric plane maker Eve ‘on track’ to start services in 2026 and seeks rules to govern sector

Brazilian electric plane maker Eve ‘on track’ to start services in 2026 and seeks rules to govern sector

Brazilian electric plane maker Eve 'on track' to start services in 2026 and seeks rules to govern sector

Electric plane maker Eve Holding is “on track” to meet its goal of starting commercial operations in 2026, an executive said on Friday, and getting its plane certified is the most immediate goal.

Eve’s Vice President of Fleet Services and Operations, Luiz Mauad, told Reuters in an interview that he expects authorities to make progress in 2023 in establishing rules for the sector, which would pave the way for certification “in a few years”.

Eve, controlled by Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, launched a process last year for Brazil’s civil aviation regulator to certify its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which has already racked up an order book of more than 2,700 orders before the start of production.

“Of course, entry into service is an important step, but before that comes certification. And certifying an aircraft, even a traditional one, is always a huge challenge,” Mauad said ahead of the MRO Latin America event in Buenos Aires.

Eve is confident of the “robust project”, which draws on Embraer’s expertise, Mauad said, reiterating the goal of starting operations in 2026.

He said Eve already had the cash on hand for the project, originally expected to cost $540 million, following a listing in the United States and additional funding from the state development bank. Brazilian BNDES.

Eve debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2022 after combining its business with Zanite Acquisition Corp, raising around $400 million (around Rs 3,300 crore) to manufacture its flying taxis. BNDES later announced that it would grant Eve an additional 490 million reais (about Rs. 780 crore).

Eve’s investors include United Airlines, Acciona, SkyWest, Bradesco BBI, Rolls-Royce, Thales and BAE Systems.

“We have a solid investment base to make our project, our business and our products viable,” Mauad said, noting that Eve has also worked on solutions such as air traffic management software.

“The investment we have already raised gives us the peace of mind to develop all these products until they go live,” he said. “Further investments may come, if necessary, but we are still in a very comfortable position.”

Consultancy McKinsey said recently that additional funding would be important for industry players this year. Eve’s peers include Joby Aviation, Vertical Aerospace, Lilium NV and Archer Aviation.

In a report, McKinsey also hinted at potential consolidation, saying mergers and company closures could be seen as “players are maturing and it may become clearer which technologies, designs and business models are likely to succeed.” .

Mauad acknowledged that a process of consolidation could occur in the sector, but noted that Eve was still particularly focused on working through her partnerships.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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