The $9.8 million grant coming through the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) will help Joby build out its facilities in Marina, California, to host soon higher manufacturing volumes and initial training for pilots and aircraft maintainers.
This is crucial since Joby received a Special Airworthiness Certificate for its first pilot aircraft in June this year, allowing test flights to take off. The company expects its plane to become the first-ever eVTOL delivered to customers.
Joby also promised to hire at its other San Carlos and Santa Cruz offices. As part of the agreement, Joby has committed to invest $41.3 million and create 690 additional full-time jobs in California by 2027.
In Marina, the lines were designed with Toyota’s help to test the scalability of the low-volume machines and processes before scaling up production. The Japanese carmaker is Joby’s largest shareholder, having invested $400 million. Toyota and Joby also recently signed a long-term agreement to supply powertrain and actuation components. These are Joby-developed parts that Toyota manufactures on a contract basis.
Joby initially targeted launching into commercial operation next year. However, today’s grant announcement said the acceleration of early manufacturing would support initial commercial operations in 2025, not 2024.
Its current eVTOL claims a top speed of 200 miles per hour (322 kph) and a range of 150 miles (241 km).
“We’re honored to receive a prestigious CalCompetes grant from our home state of California to support pilot training and the growth of our manufacturing facilities in advance of early operations,” said JoeBen Bevirt, CEO of Joby. He added that the company, founded in 2009, employs more than 1,250 people today and was “thrilled to be able to keep growing in California”.
While Joby plans to manufacture aircraft first in California, the company announced in September that it would locate its first scaled plant in Dayton, Ohio. Joby intends to deliver up to 500 aircraft annually from Dayton, supporting 2,000 manufacturing jobs.