US-based air taxi manufacturer Joby Aviation has signed an agreement with business aviation company Clay Lacy Aviation to upgrade Southern California’s urban air mobility infrastructure with the first electric air taxi charger for the region.
The new Global Electric Aviation Charging System (GEACS) will be installed at the John Wayne Airport in Orange County as part of Clay Lacy’s $100m redevelopment of its fixed-based operator terminal.
It is one of the first deals for Joby to install the GEACS technology, which is already in use at the company’s flight test centre and Edwards Air Force Base, at an airport as it plans for the launch of an air taxi network in the state, hoped to be one of the first in the US.
JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby, said: “We’re taking concrete steps to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support our future service and we’re grateful to be working with an industry pioneer like Clay Lacy Aviation to lead the way on bringing sustainable aviation to Southern California.
“The charging technology we have developed is optimized to support our whole industry, from air taxis delivering short range city flights to more conventional electric aircraft flying longer distances.”
The agreement builds upon Joby’s existing work to prepare for the commercial launch of air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, including a deal signed with Delta Air Lines in 2022 to operate services in the Los Angeles / Southern California area.
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In November 2023, Joby conducted the first electric air taxi flight in New York City during an exhibition flight celebrating the announcement that the city would be electrifying the Downtown Heliport in Manhattan.