NEOM invests $175 mln in Volocopter to accelerate electric urban air mobility

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NEOM has announced a $175 million Series E investment in Volocopter, the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The futuristic smart city project in Tabuk Province in northwestern Saudi Arabia, will take a significant equity stake in the company as part of its strategic engagement with the global eVTOL industry, positioning it as a leader in future mobility solutions.

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This deal will expand NEOM’s strategic partnership with Volocopter to progress an advanced air mobility industry in Saudi Arabia, in line with NEOM’s cutting-edge strategy for its mobility sector.

It builds on the NEOM-Volocopter joint venture launched in December 2021, which will operate electric air taxi services in NEOM to connect various regions including THE LINE, OXAGON and TROJENA.

Nadhmi al-Nasr, Chief Executive Officer at NEOM, said: “This crucial investment aligns with the ambitious plans announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, and the Chairman of NEOM’s Board of Directors, for the Kingdom to achieve sustainability and to develop NEOM into an accelerator of human progress.

“It will contribute to taking humanity closer to a new era of mobility – an era defined by zero-emission, electrically-powered vertical take-off and landing vehicles. Together with the Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation, NEOM and Volocopter will make concepts like air taxis an everyday reality for its residents and visitors. Powerful partnerships such as the one that NEOM is cultivating with pioneering companies like Volocopter will fuel giant leaps forward – not just for the benefit of NEOM and the Kingdom – but for all.”

Dirk Hoke, CEO at Volocopter, added: “This is the first time in history that eVTOLs, with their unique characteristics, are being factored into the design of a region that is being built from scratch. This offers a whole new approach to how urban air mobility can increase quality of life in cities. NEOM’s investment bears testament to our leading position as a technology pioneer in the race to become the first company to break into the emerging urban air mobility market.”

NEOM’s unique regional development provides a global living lab for advancing and embedding electric urban air mobility in a multi-modal sustainable transport system. Being built from the ground up, NEOM offers the ideal environment for trialling cutting-edge electric mobility solutions on land, in the air and at sea. In addition to NEOM, Volocopter has launched partnerships and offers its services in global cities that include Paris, Singapore and Rome, as well as in China.

In close collaboration with Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), NEOM, and Volocopter are implementing a national test bed for Saudi Arabia to enable the integration of eVTOLs with zero-emission future urban mobility.

Electric air taxis are a key component of NEOM’s mission to implement a truly sustainable and seamlessly connected multi-modal mobility system powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Overall, NEOM will invest in eVTOL fleets, operations, and infrastructure to localize industry innovation.

Read more: Construction has begun on Lucid EV factory in Saudi Arabia: Investment minister

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