Germany’s Volocopter has committed to launching commercial eVTOL flights in Singapore “within the next two to three years,” and advance tickets have already sold out to early adopters eager to take the first joyrides in this electric air taxi.
The company has been very active in Singapore, where it’s done several test flights, including a high-profile manned flight late in 2019. Singapore doesn’t strike us as a market that’s crying out for air taxis, what with its very small area, well-ordered roads and terrific MRT subway system. It barely cracks the top 100 in TomTom’s list of cities ranked by traffic congestion, and we’ve never found it anywhere near as annoying getting from A to B there as in, say, Los Angeles, or Bangkok.
It does have plenty of money, though, and a solid tech research sector, and evidently several friendly government bodies, including the local aviation authority.
“Singapore is renowned for its leading role in adapting and living new technologies,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter. “Our successful cooperation with the Economic Development Board, Ministry of Transport, and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore on our previous flight has shown that there is no better place in Asia to launch our electric air taxi services than in Singapore. The city’s research institutes conducting R&D play an integral part in this. Topics like route validation for autonomous operations, material science, and research regarding battery technology are very important for our long-term business success.”