Embraer is collaborating with Japanese electric motor manufacturer Nidec to develop propulsion systems for electric aircraft, the companies said on June 18 at the Paris Air Show. The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer and Nidec have agreed to form a joint venture company called Nidec Aerospace to develop a vehicle-agnostic portfolio of products for the aerospace industry, starting with electric motors for eVTOL aircraft.
Nidec has extensive experience manufacturing motors for electric automobiles, appliances, industrial equipment, and power generators, and now the company takes its first big leap into the aerospace industry through its partnership with Embraer.
“We are combining two very strong and powerful engineering [companies] to develop electric motors with high quality, very competitive prices, and scale to fulfill the needs of the entire industry,” Dimas Tomelin, Embraer’s senior v-p of innovation and corporate strategy, said at a media briefing at the airshow.
Eve Air Mobility, an Embraer affiliate company developing a four-passenger eVTOL air taxi, will become Nidec Aerospace's launch customer. During the briefing, Embraer and Nidec representatives revealed a half-scale mockup of the 70-kilowatt engine that will power Eve’s eVTOL aircraft.
Eve also announced two additional suppliers for its eVTOL on Sunday at the show. According to Eve, the UK's BAE Systems will provide the battery system for the electric aircraft, while DUC Hélice Propellers will supply its rotors and propellers. France's DUC Hélice Propellers specializes in the design and manufacturing of carbon-composite aircraft components.
Embraer and BAE Systems have collaborated for the past year on potential defense applications for Eve’s eVTOL, which the company designed to serve the urban air mobility market. BAE Systems also works on energy storage for Heart Aerospace’s planned ES-30 hybrid-electric regional airliner and a hybrid-electric technology demonstrator for NASA’s Electrified Powertrain Flight Demonstration project.
“Eve has taken a ‘building blocks’ approach to further enhance the maturity of the technology and its eVTOL,” said Eve v-p of program management and operations Alice Altissimo. “We continue to make very good progress and we are looking forward to working with these new suppliers as we accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable air travel.”
Eve's eVTOL Order Book Swells to 2,850 Aircraft
Eve Air Mobility recently collected orders for up to 150 air taxis, bringing its total order backlog for the four-passenger air taxi up to 2,850 vehicles, the company announced on June 20 at the Paris Airshow. According to Eve, this represents the largest and most diversified order book among aircraft manufacturers in the nascent eVTOL industry.
Voar Aviation, a general aviation service provider based in São Paulo, Brazil, signed a letter of intent covering the purchase of 70 Eve eVTOL aircraft, which the company intends to operate in several locations across Brazil.
Widerøe Zero, the sustainability division of Norwegian airline Widerøe, has agreed to purchase up to 50 Eve eVTOLs. Eve and Widerøe have worked together since the 2021 United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) when the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the potential for eVTOL operations in Scandinavia. Now the airline has signed a letter of intent in which it has provisionally agreed to buy and operate Eve’s air taxis.
As part of the agreement with Widerøe, Eve will provide comprehensive services to support its eVTOL operations, including pilot training and maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. Widerøe will also use Eve’s urban air traffic management software, designed to maximize operational efficiency while integrating with other airspace users.
Global aircraft leasing firm Nordic Aviation Capital signed a letter of intent covering the purchase of up to 30 Eve aircraft. According to Eve, the Copenhagen-based aircraft lessor has placed a firm order for 15 aircraft with the option of buying 15 more units that the company will lease to operators.
To further promote its eVTOL aircraft in Europe, Eve has expanded its longstanding partnership with Blade Air Mobility. In 2021, Eve agreed to provide Blade with up to 60 eVTOL aircraft through a network of local operators to serve Blade customers in South Florida and the U.S. West Coast. Last year Blade agreed to deploy up to 200 of Eve's eVTOLs in India. Now Blade plans to add Eve’s eVTOL to its European route network, with European operations launching in France.