Supernal, the air taxi division of Hyundai Motor Group, announced plans to build a manufacturing facility to make electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft targeted at civilian transportation.
Additionally, the company said it will showcase a prototype of its air taxis at CES 2024, taking place in January in Las Vegas.
Supernal, which has been working on building its own air taxi batteries with Electric Power Systems, said last year it would invest $10 billion in smart mobility in the U.S. including expansion of air taxi fleets that would eventually be used for commercial operations.
Why it matters
While still in the nascent stages, eVTOL aircraft have attracted much attention globally with major airliners getting onboard like Delta Air Lines, through its partnership with Joby Aviation, and United Airlines, through its partnership with Archer and Eve Air Mobility.
These airlines see potential for commercial aircraft in air taxis to ease traffic in urban areas and provide quick city-to-city travel using electricity instead of aviation fuel.
Air taxis have also garnered attention from the Olympics, where Volocopter, Airbus, Vertical Aerospace and Ascendance, Lilium and Joby Aviation will transport the public to the 2024 Paris Games at key locations. It is said to be the first European city to offer such air taxi flights in high demand.
At the 2025 Expo in Japan, air taxis will also be one of the major draws to the event as several tech and aviation companies are teaming with air taxi vendors to deliver eVTOL aircraft to ferry passengers to the event taking place in Osaka, Kansai and the surrounding areas.