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Suzuki Signs Deal With SkyDrive To Develop Electric Flying Cars

Automakers are investing in vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft and Japan’s Suzuki is the latest to throw its hat in the ring with a newly announced partnership with SkyDrive Inc.

The two companies announced today that they have signed a deal to jointly research, develop, and market electric VTOLs in the near future. Unfortunately, the finer details of the agreement weren’t disclosed, so information about the size of the investment and production timelines remain unknown.

The companies did say, though, that they would work to open new markets with an initial focus on India, where Suzuki controls roughly half of the auto market. This weekend, Suzuki announced that it would invest more than $1 billion in its factory in India to produce electric vehicles and batteries.

SkyDrive is headquartered in Tokyo and in 2020 raised $42 million in Series B funding thanks to investors like NEC Corp and Itochu Corp. The company is currently developing a compact, two-seater eVTOL and plans to scale up to full-series production in time to launch its flying car service in Osaka in 2025 when the city hosts the World Expo. It’s unclear if Suzuki will work with SkyDrive on this vehicle.

Suzuki is just the latest legacy automaker to make an announcement regarding so-called flying cars. Porsche and Audi have said they are exploring the segment, as has Cadillac, but Hyundai is perhaps the automaker with the biggest plans in the space as it has been investing in eVTOL ports and expects the urban air mobility industry to take off before 2030. Some startups, meanwhile, expect it to happen sooner.



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