Volocopter poised to make history with electric air taxis in Paris

Vyra Wu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0


As the world's attention turns to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics, Volocopter, a German aviation company, is gearing up to make history by launching their electric air taxi service in the host city.

Volocopter, a pioneer in the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft industry, has been working for over 13 years to bring their air taxi "Volocity" to market. According to Emerson Xu, Senior Business Development Manager at Volocopter, who shared at the 2024 Urban Air Mobility International Forum, the company plans to receive type certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) this year, paving the way for commercial operations.

"This summer in Paris, we will witness the first EASA-approved special permit to fly in the city. We will be receiving the first European type certification under special conditions VTOL as early as this year to fly commercially." Xu emphasized.

The Volocity is Volocopter's first commercially available product, a two-seat, fully electric aircraft designed for intra-city flights. With a range of 35 kilometers and a top speed of 110 km/h, the Volocity is well-suited for short-range urban air mobility applications, such as airport shuttles, air taxis, and emergency medical services.

Volocopter's approach to aviation is centered around safety, with their aircraft designed to meet the same stringent safety standards as commercial airliners from Boeing and Airbus.

Credit: Volocopter

Credit: Volocopter

Beyond the Volocity, Volocopter is also developing larger aircraft models, including a four- to five-seater codenamed "VoloRegion." With an extended range of 60 to 80 kilometers and increased payload capacity, the VoloRegion could further expand the company's urban air mobility offerings in the future.

Volocopter's plans for commercial operations extend far beyond Paris. The company has already demonstrated successful test flights in various cities around the world. According to Xu, Rome, New York, Osaka, Singapore, and China are among the next cities in line for Volocopter's air taxi service after the Paris launch.

The German aircraft manufacturer has also partnered with industry leaders like ADAC Luftrettung, Europe's leading air rescue organization, to explore potential applications for emergency medical services. In the United States, Volocopter has conducted roadshows in cities like New York and Tampa, generating significant interest and support for their innovative urban air mobility solutions.

As Volocopter prepares to take to the skies in Paris, the company is working closely with local authorities and commercial partners to ensure a smooth and successful launch. "For any city that we enter, we will work with the governments, the authorities, as well as the commercial partners to make a convincing as well as pragmatic approach," Xu stated.

As the Paris 2024 Olympics draw near, there is likely to be considerable attention on Volocopter as they endeavor to create a milestone by introducing the inaugural air taxi service at an Olympic Games.