Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation's Aircraft in Santa Cruz. 

Joby Aviation, a Santa Cruz-headquartered startup developing electric air taxis, announced on Jan. 15 a $590 million investment round led by Toyota. 

As part of its announcement, Joby also unveiled details about its all-electric, zero-emissions aircraft. It will seat four passengers plus a pilot. Take off and landing will be vertical, similar to a helicopter—but forward flight will be wingborn. The top speed is 200 miles per hour and a single charge will last 150 miles. 

“We are building a new system for transportation to transform your daily life, at greater safety and, in time, at a similar cost to driving,” Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt said in a statement on Jan. 15. “This collaboration with Toyota represents an unprecedented commitment of money and resources for us and this new industry from one of the world’s leading automakers.”

The announcement comes as the Weekly revealed details about Joby’s plan for a massive manufacturing center in Marina. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in the next few months following a review by the city’s planning commission. The plant is designed to employ as many as 1,600 people in aviation manufacturing jobs. Local officials envision a new industry springing up in the region. 

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Asaf Shalev is a staff writer at the Monterey County Weekly. He covers higher education, the military, the environment, public lands and the geographic areas of Seaside, Monterey, Sand City, Big Sur and Carmel Valley.

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