Quelle surprise!

Joby Aviation has announced in a shareholder highlights letter this week, which also covers the Q3 financial results, that its proposed full certification and start of commercial services in 2024 has been put off a year to 2025.

The company says, “…regarding the development and performance of our aircraft, the growth of our manufacturing capabilities, our regulatory outlook, progress and timing, including our expectation to start commercial passenger service in 2025, the expected timing of type certification and our plan to begin initial service operations with the Department of Defense in 2024…”

Amidst all those ‘forward looking statements’, what JOBY is trying to say is, “Sorry folks, we won’t be operating commercially until 2025.” Whether the operations with the Department of Defence in 2024 is a primary reason, is not clear.

This comes as a disappointment to the eVTOL Industry, where much emphasis is being placed on the Paris Olympic Games in July/August 2024, to kickstart the market. Companies like Joby, Volocopter and EHang are being mooted as the eVTOL pioneers of the Games with hopes that not only will there be demonstrations, but actual commercial services for both the public and Olympians. Now there are only two potential candidates.

Even then, EHang is floundering, at present, after a series of promises this year that it will gain full certification from the CAAC by the end of 2022. Up to now, nothing has materialised.

The JOBY news led Sergio Cecutta of SMG Consulting to tweet this morning, “@volocopter is our only hope for 2024 air taxi services outside China.” Yet, in a recent AAM Reality Index chart, Cecutta states the Beta Technologies ALIA eVTOL could be fully certified in 2024.

Certainly, this paves the way for Volocopter to become a star of the Olympics, “IF” it gains full certification from EASA in time. Logic suggests this should be a shoo-in given Paris wants a European eVTOL company to brandish the EU flag.

Meanwhile, those financial results and highlights.

After that calamitous Bleeker Street Research Report a few weeks back, soothing investors’ concerns must become an ongoing practice, especially when you tell them your commercial business and the primary reason to invest has been delayed a year.

Highlights

: Delta Partnership: We announced a multi-year, multi-market commercial and operational partnership with Delta Air Lines, the world’s leading airline. Delta also made an upfront equity investment of $60 million in Joby, with the opportunity to expand their total investment to $200 million.

: Certification Progress: Acceptance of our Means of Compliance rose from 74% to 84% and our first equipment-level qualification plan was accepted by the FAA for the Flight Control Computer. We remain confident in our ability to substantially complete Stage 2 of the type certification process by the end of 2022.

: Japan Certification: We became the first eVTOL company to apply for validation of an FAA type certificate by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), supporting the planned launch of our service in Japan.

: Field Trip: We welcomed analysts, investors, and other key stakeholders to our pilot manufacturing facilities in Marina, CA, where we demonstrated the progress we are making on the build of our production prototype aircraft, and participants saw – and heard – a live flight test. 

Strong Financial Foundation

At the end of the third quarter of 2022, we had $1.1 billion in cash and short-term investments to support operations. Net cash used in operating activities and purchases of property and equipment totaled $207 million in the first nine months of 2022, with $74 million spent in the third quarter. 

Net Loss

Our net loss of $79.2 million included total operating expenses of $97.1 million, reflecting continued progress in certifying the aircraft and early manufacturing operations. Operating expenses also included stock-based compensation expenses of $13.0 million. Other expenses included a favorable revaluation of derivative liabilities worth $12.6 million. 

Full Letter:

https://joby-site.cdn.prismic.io/joby-site/054b5ec4-749d-459c-a4aa-667be3be368a_Joby+-+Q3_2022-+Shareholder+Letter.pdf