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Business News/ Auto News / Suzuki aims to debut electric air copters in 2025, eyes global market: Report

Suzuki aims to debut electric air copters in 2025, eyes global market: Report

Suzuki Motor introduces electric air copters for urban transportation, focusing on affordability and flexibility. The company plans to launch SkyDrive in 2025 at the Osaka Expo and extend operations to India by 2031.

For representation purposes only (AFP)Premium
For representation purposes only (AFP)

Japanese auto major Suzuki Motor Corporation is poised to soar into the skies with its latest venture – electric air copters. With a vision to pioneer new mobility solutions, the company is gearing up to introduce compact air taxis designed to transport up to three passengers, including the pilot, ras per a Times of India report.

The project aims to take flight initially in Japan and the United States before venturing into the Indian market., the report added. The compact air taxis, reminiscent of ground-based rideshare services such as Uber and Ola, are set to redefine urban transportation dynamics. 

The debut of the SkyDrive, featuring 12 units of motors and rotors, is slated for the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan, Kento Ogura, Assistant Manager at Suzuki Motor told the paper at the Bharat Mobility Global Expo. Following its unveiling, Suzuki intends to target potential customers and forge partnerships in India.

Reportedly, Ogura emphasized the importance of affordability for success in the Indian market, asserting that aircopters must be priced competitively against traditional helicopters. With a take-off weight almost half that of conventional helicopters, the electric air copters boast the flexibility to utilize building rooftops as launch and landing pads. 

Furthermore, the adoption of electrification has significantly reduced manufacturing and maintenance costs, making the venture economically viable, adds the report.

What are the Plans?

The report also adds that Initially offering a range of 15 kilometres, the three-passenger air taxi is expected to double its range by 2029 and further increase to 40 kilometres by 2031 to cater to India's vast geography. Engaging in regulatory discussions with the government, Suzuki is exploring avenues for manufacturing in India, underscoring the potential cost advantages and synergies associated with local production.

While the timeline for manufacturing in India remains unconfirmed, Ogura affirmed the company's intent to the 'Make in India' initiative, citing the country's conducive manufacturing ecosystem. As discussions with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) progress, Suzuki remains steadfast in its pursuit of revolutionizing urban air mobility while championing affordability and accessibility in India's transportation landscape.

Earlier in July 2023, Suzuki had said it had signed a basic agreement with SkyDrive Inc. for the manufacture of "flying cars" to start manufacturing by the spring of 2024.

"SkyDrive will establish a 100 percent owned subsidiary to manufacture "flying cars". Suzuki and SkyDrive will utilise a plant owned by the Suzuki Group in Shizuoka Prefecture, and aim to start the manufacturing of "flying cars" around the spring of 2024. Suzuki will also cooperate with SkyDrive’s manufacturing subsidiary in preparing for the start of manufacturing, including securing human resources. Specific terms of the agreement will continue to be discussed and will be agreed on separately," the release said.

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Published: 12 Feb 2024, 12:46 PM IST
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