Joby Aviation completes a 523-mile flight in an eVTOL powered by hydrogen-electric tech


Joby Aviation completes a 523-mile flight in an eVTOL powered by hydrogen-electric tech

eVTOL developer Joby Aviation has completed its latest milestone in demonstrating the plausibility of zero-emission regional air travel. By using hydrogen-electric propulsion developed by its subsidiary H2FLY, Joby recently completed a 523-mile eVTOL flight in California.

Joby Aviation ($JOBY) is one of those favored as its progress to date has been impressive. Following millions in initial funding and, most recently, a California Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) grant, Joby has secured a US location for eVTOL production.

Outside of the US, Joby Aviation has begun expanding eVTOL air taxi operations worldwide, beginning in Dubai.

We saw Joby achieve its first flight with a pilot onboard in October 2023, quickly leading to a demonstration in New York City ahead of full-fledged air taxi operations expected to begin in 2025.

In 2021, Joby acquired hydrogen-electric propulsion specialist H2FLY and helped it complete a piloted flight of its own in September 2023. Since then, Joby has begun exploring the integration of hydrogen fuel cells in its eVTOL aircraft and recently completed a test flight in one that delivered some of the most extended zero-emission flight ranges we’ve seen to date.

Joby flies hydrogen eVTOL air taxi an impressive 523 miles

According to Joby Aviation, it completed the hydrogen-powered eVTOL flight around its facilities in Marina, California, on June 24, traveling 523 miles over the course of four hours and 47 minutes. When the aircraft landed, Joby stated it still had 10% of its hydrogen fuel remaining.

With the complete successful demonstration flight, Joby has unlocked the potential for further sustainable eVTOL air travel via all-electric and hydrogen-powered aircraft. Per Joby founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt:

Traveling by air is central to human progress, but we need to find ways to make it cleaner. With our battery-electric air taxi set to fundamentally change the way we move around cities, we’re excited to now be building a technology stack that could redefine regional travel using hydrogen-electric aircraft.

Imagine being able to fly from San Francisco to San Diego, Boston to Baltimore, or Nashville to New Orleans without the need to go to an airport and with no emissions except water. That world is closer than ever, and the progress we’ve made towards certifying the battery-electric version of our aircraft gives us a great head start as we look ahead to making hydrogen-electric flight a reality.

The vast majority of the design, testing and certification work we’ve completed on our battery-electric aircraft carries over to commercializing hydrogen-electric flight. In service, we also expect to be able to use the same landing pads, the same operations team, and Joby’s ElevateOS software that will support the commercial operation of our battery-electric aircraft

Looking ahead, Joby says it will continue to pursue a start of commercial operations as soon as 2025, using its battery-electric air taxi. Following the success of its first hydrogen eVTOL, we can expect to see those aircraft make their way into future fleets for regional air travel as well.

For now, here is some footage of Joby’s June test flight using the H2FLY hydrogen-powered eVTOL.

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