Joby Aviation selects birthplace of flight as home to its first scaled eVTOL production facility

eVTOL developer Joby Aviation continues to make headway in becoming a fully certified scaled aircraft manufacturer in the US. This morning the company shared details of the new place it will call home – which also happens to be where the Wright brothers first took flight 120 years ago. With the state on its side, Joby could begin scaled eVTOL production fairly soon.

Joby Aviation ($JOBY) has been on our radar since 2018 after it garnered big funding from companies like Intel, JetBlue, and Toyota – the latter of which has evolved into a major partner in helping the startup reach scaled eVTOL commercial operations.

After flying over 30,000 miles with its pre-production eVTOL prototype, Joby Aviation rolled its first production prototype off its pilot assembly line this past June. With FAA certification in place to begin test flights with the production prototypes, Joby is now gearing up for full-scale eVTOL production and will require a lot more space than the aforementioned pilot line in California.

Today, the company shared plans to move production across the country to the beautiful midwest, hoping to establish a footprint in Dayton, Ohio – home to the famous Wright brothers.

Joby eVTOL production
A rendering of Joby’s future eVTOL production facility in Ohio / Credit: Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation is bringing eVTOL production, jobs to Ohio

Today’s press release comes just hours before Joby Aviation will host an event today in Dayton at Hawthorn Hill – the home to Orville Wright – alongside Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and other local officials.

The event is expected to have a ceremonial flypast from a replica Model “B” Flyer – the world’s first production plane. Soon however, Dayton may be home to production of some of the world’s first commercially operated eVTOLs from Joby, which can transport a pilot plus four passengers and reach speeds up to 200 mph. That’s quite an upgrade compared to the 1910 model that started it all.

Speaking of upgrades, Joby Aviation says it plans to use existing nearby buildings in Dayton to begin near-term operations, while it erects the new eVTOL production facility (see rendering above). When complete, it will sit atop 140 acres of land, which was specifically chosen to offer space for growth over time – 2 million square feet of manufacturing space to be specific. The initial facility is expected to produce up to 500 eVTOL aircraft per year and create as many as 2,000 jobs in Ohio.

Due to this, the Buckeye State and JobsOhio have offered incentives and benefits of up to $325 million to support the new facility’s development, complementing Joby’s intentions to invest up to $500 million of its own capital to scale and hopefully expand. Today, Joby also announced it has been invited by the US Department of Energy to submit a Part II Application for financing under the Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program, which provides access to low-interest loans for clean energy projects – further supporting the scaling of the facility. Governor Mike DeWine spoke:

Ohio’s legacy in aviation begins with the Wright Brothers and continues with Joby Aviation as they launch a new era in aviation manufacturing and aerial mobility in Dayton. The aircraft that will roll off Joby Ohio’s production lines will redefine urban transportation and contribute to a fundamental change in the way people and goods travel. We welcome Joby and celebrate the new chapter of air mobility history that will be made in Ohio, the Heart of Aviation.

Construction of Joby’s Dayton facility is expected to commence in 2024, followed by a start of eVTOL production in 2025. Aforementioned partner Toyota is already onboard to help advise Joby in designing and implementing assembly lines for scaled eVTOL production in Ohio, as the latter says it is already looking to begin the local hiring process in the coming months.

If you’d like to tune in to the official event held from Dayton today, it begins at 10 a.m. EDT and can be viewed via livestream here.

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