The alliance between the automotive industry and the growing e/VTOL market continues as Honda becomes the latest car manufacturer to embrace Urban Air Mobility, reports forbes.com.
The Forbes article written by Dale Buss says, “Already competing with one another in technological revolutions on the ground in EVs, hydrogen power and driverless vehicles, automakers also have begun jockeying with one another for early positions in a new arena: the skies.”
evtolinsights.com covers an increasing number of stories about car manufacturers collaborating with eVTOL companies. Please read this article below. The likes of Joby and Toyota; Archer and Stellantis; Supernal and Hyundai being typical examples.
A primary difference with Honda is the company has created its own hybrid-powered VTOL rather than piggybacking on an already existing aircraft. While only in CGI form, Honda is already advertising the concept via U.S TV advertisements that portray the company advancing transportation technology, as well as offering a recent projection from a rolling platform on its Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California, an ideal setting for this concept. Honda has long sponsored the event.
Sean Moore, Head of Aerospace and Defence at Capgemini Americas Consultants, explained, “The immediate impact potential is immense. Imagine a sky full of non-polluting eVTOLs with lower operating costs than helicopters, swiftly transporting commuters by bypassing the congestion across [New York City’s] East River and delivering you to the airport before your coffee gets cold.”
Morgan Stanley predicts Urban Air Mobility could generate over USD1.5 trillion by 2040. Therefore, it is of no surprise automakers want a piece of the action.
Yet, Honda is interested in a gas turbine-electric motor hybrid approach and carbon fuselage rather than pure electric for as the company points out, this offers the aircraft a far greater range of more than 400 kilometres, or four times further than eVTOLs.
Even so, Honda admits its CGI concept remains a concept, for now. Hirohide Azuma, Honda’s Head of eVTOL development, commented, “It has potential, but it is a long-term project. It’s not something you’re going to see immediately.”
Yet, Honda has the experience to take the CGI concept and transform it into reality. The company cites its extensive experience with the highly demanding electrical-system requirements of Formula 1 auto racing and, of course, its several years of Honda Jets that today are some of the most highly regarded aircraft in private aviation. Azuma adds, “We’ll be using all of our combined experience.”
Matheu Parr, customer director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, which is developing powerplants for eVTOLs, remarked, “Auto companies come in with a past decade of experience in electrifying platforms and investing in platforms and infrastructure to deliver them. Their skill sets are complementary.”
(News Source: www.forbes.com)
(Top image: Honda)