- Despite being young, the electric aviation industry is growing quickly.
- Commercial airlines and electric air taxis both present big market opportunities in the field.
- Joby Aviation and EHang are among the best-funded electric aviation startups.
While the electric aviation industry is young, it’s growing quickly, driven by commercial airlines’ need to lower fuel costs and meet ever-stricter emissions standards. The global market for electric aircraft is estimated to have reached $7.9 billion in 2021 and projected to reach $27.7 billion by 2030, according to market research company MarketsandMarkets.
The makers of electric aircraft are targeting at least two big market opportunities. In commercial aviation, they hope to replace the large, expensive, fuel-burning jets airlines use for many of the 45 percent of global flights that run less than 500 miles. Electric planes stand to significantly lower emissions, as aviation is currently responsible for about 1.9 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 2.5 percent of CO2 emissions, according to scientific online publication Our World in Data.
Another focus is electric air taxis, a market expected to hit $150.9 billion by 2035, according to PitchBook. Many startups are focused on creating electric aircraft that can be used for aerial ridesharing services, which they promote as the future of urban mobility.