Top eVTOL Stocks for 2024: Ranked by Pure-Play Focus

Forget sitting in traffic – the next leap in transportation is in the skies. Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft are poised to shake up urban mobility forever. These futuristic car-helicopter-hybrids aim to slash congestion, pollution, and painful commutes. As this market takes shape, investors want in on the potential windfall. This guide features the top publicly traded eVTOL stocks, tiered by their level of focus on the technology. Our ranking methodology considers business model, revenue concentration, and vertical integration.

EVTOL Electric Vertical Take Off and Landing Aircraft About To Land Near City
Credit: OneTwo/Adobe

Tier 1: Pure-Play eVTOL Developers

These companies have placed their entire bet on the future of eVTOLs. Their entire business is built around designing, manufacturing, and eventually operating eVTOL aircraft. Investors who want the full upside – and risk – can consider these eVTOL stocks.

Joby Aviation (JOBY)

Joby Aviation (JOBY) is a frontrunner with early revenue, strong IP, and a focus on both manufacturing and operating their eVTOL aircraft for maximum returns.

Joby Aviation’s vertically integrated business model covers aircraft design, manufacturing, and air taxi operations. This gives them control over their entire value chain. But ultimately, the company aims to make money by providing an air taxi service, charging per trip.

Joby’s innovative eVTOL aircraft is designed for speed (200 mph), quiet operation, and zero emissions. With a 150-mile range and six tilting electric motors, it seamlessly goes between vertical and horizontal flight. This makes it versatile for both dense urban and remote rural settings.

The company also has a strong IP portfolio. Its advanced batteries offer high energy density and rapid charging for frequent air taxi operations. The company also developed proprietary flight control software and noise reduction technology. These address the key concern of urban air travel — noise pollution.

Recent progress underscores Joby’s market position. This includes advancements towards FAA certification, production milestones, and piloted test flights. They have also formed strategic partnerships with Toyota, Uber, and infrastructure partners in Dubai, Japan, and South Korea.

Archer Aviation (ACHR)

Archer Aviation (ACHR) offers investors exposure to a rapid growth strategy, potentially cost-saving autonomous technology, and a business model spanning manufacturing and air taxi operations.

Archer’s hybrid business model blends two approaches within the eVTOL industry. First, the company sells aircraft directly to operators like an OEM, via “Archer Direct.” At the same time, it operates its own flying taxi service called “Archer Air.” This two-pronged strategy generates early sales while allowing its ride-sharing network to develop.

Archer’s flagship eVTOL, Midnight, is a high-performance, zero-emissions craft. A key innovation is their proprietary electric propulsion system. This allows their eVTOL to take off and land vertically like a helicopter yet achieve high-speed forward flight like a plane. Archer uses cylindrical cells in their propulsion system, rather than pouch cells. This decision simplifies the design, improves thermal control, and makes certification easier.

Archer’s journey toward launching flying cars has reached significant milestones. Archer stands as one of only two companies globally to receive Type Inspection Authorization (TIA) from the FAA for eVTOL aircraft. They’ve also partnered with major automaker Stellantis to scale production with a capital-light approach.

Vertical Aerospace (EVTL)

Vertical Aerospace (EVTL) is a focused bet on the European eVTOL market, with a strong order book and potential for less regulatory friction due to a more traditional aircraft design.

Vertical Aerospace is a key player in the European eVTOL market, with a focus on zero-emissions. Their flagship VX4 eVTOL has a targeted range of over 100 miles with four passengers and a pilot. It’s also designed to be 100 times quieter than helicopters, addressing the noise concern for urban use. They’ve secured 1400+ pre-orders, including from Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and JAL.

Vertical Aerospace has also earned a grant from the UK government to develop next-gen propellers. The government connection doesn’t stop there, as the company also has plans to integrate with Heathrow Airport. These partnerships make EVTL a compelling bet on the European eVTOL market.

Lilium (LILM)

Lilium (LILM) is a high-risk, high-reward play due to its unique jet-powered eVTOL design, which promises higher speeds and longer ranges, but also greater technological complexity.

Lilium pioneered the world’s first eVTOL “jet.” Most eVTOL designs rely on larger, open rotors/propellers. However, the Lilium Jet uses 36 small electric jet engines enclosed within ducts. These enclosed ducts muffle engine noise and reduce injury risk vs. open propellers. They also allow the aircraft’s footprint to stay small, while carrying a heavier payload. 

Also, many eVTOLs use separate systems for lift and cruise flight (e.g. tilting rotors/propellers that change position). Lilium’s system can seamlessly transition between vertical and horizontal flight. This improves efficiency and performance. Lilium’s design has potential, but it’s also less proven. Still, a robust order pipeline of 603 units underscores the market’s interest.

Tier 2: eVTOL with Other Business Lines

Companies in this tier are entering the eVTOL market, but maintain established revenue streams in other areas. They could be drone operators expanding into eVTOLs or companies with other aviation business lines. Investors who want a more balanced exposure can consider these eVTOL stocks.

Eve Air Mobility (EVEX)

Eve Air Mobility (EVEX) offers a diversified investment combining eVTOL aircraft development with the potential revenue streams from the broader urban air mobility ecosystem.

Eve Air Mobility, a spinoff of Embraer, stands out as a complete UAM ecosystem provider. They not only develop eVTOLs, but also maintenance services and air traffic control software. This holistic approach gives them opportunities for diverse revenue streams.

In their vehicle design, Eve has partnered with top suppliers to ease the certification process. Those include Nidec (motors), BAE (energy management), and DUC Helices (propellers). Eve has also built a dedicated Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) system. Successful real-world UK trials validate the software’s effectiveness.

Eve boasts a robust, diversified backlog of 2,850 aircraft orders from 29 customers across 13 countries. They have also secured up to $660 million in pre-sold service contracts for maintenance, repairs, and operator training.

Blade Air Mobility (BLDE)

Blade Air Mobility (BLDE) is an appealing choice for investors seeking lower risk by focusing on the operations side of the eVTOL market, leveraging its existing helicopter customer base.

Blade’s asset-light model sets it apart in the eVTOL industry. Rather than owning its aircraft, Blade partners with third-party operators. This strategy offers flexibility, adaptability to market shifts, and lower fixed costs. Blade prioritizes transportation services over aircraft manufacturing.

They provide airport transfers, shuttles, and charter flights. For example, Blade already has an established medical transport service for healthcare institutions. This successful service has made Blade the largest organ air transporter in the United States. Blade gets to build its brand and customer base while leaving technical complexities to partners. This allows them to be an early adopter of eVTOLs by leasing them once available.

EHang (EH)

EHang (EH) is a niche investment for those interested in its fully autonomous eVTOL technology and early operational data gained from its limited commercial flights in China.

EHang’s unique business model centers on developing autonomous flying vehicles (AVVs). Unlike other eVTOL makers, the company positions its AVVs as aerial service providers. Applications include passenger transportation, logistics, smart city management, and aerial media.

EHang’s flagship EH216 earned the world’s first Type Certificate (TC) for a passenger eVTOL. This paves the way for production and limited operation in China. The EH216 is pilotless, eliminating training costs and human error risks. Its compact two-passenger design also makes it perfect for dense urban settings.

To bolster its position, EHang has entered strategic partnerships. For example, they’ve invested in Inx, a solid-state battery company. Solid-state batteries offer better safety, energy density, stability, range, and charging speed than traditional liquid batteries.

Volatus Aerospace (VLTTF)

Volatus Aerospace (VLTTF) is a speculative bet on an established player in the drone industry leveraging its expertise and airspace knowledge to break into the eVTOL infrastructure market.

Volatus Aerospace is all about drones – aerial data collection, inspections, and deliveries. But they’re now branching out to the eVTOL space by focusing on infrastructure. Their goal is to build affordable and scalable vertiports (mini airports for eVTOLs). These vertiports, which can be constructed in under four weeks for as low as $500,000, are designed to be expanded as demand increases. 

Volatus’s experience in operating UAVs would translate well to the eVTOL space. Their expertise FAA approval for commercial agricultural drone operations is relevant to future Urban Air Mobility (UAM) regulations. This dual focus positions Volatus as a company with a strong presence in the drone industry while also hedging its bets on the future of eVTOLs.

Tier 3: Companies with eVTOL Investments

These major players aren’t building their own eVTOLs, but they see the potential. Through investments, partnerships, or technology development, they’re strategically securing a stake in this potentially transformative industry. Investors who want less concentrated exposure can consider these eVTOL stocks.

Boeing (BA)

Boeing (BA) is an indirect bet for eVTOL exposure, as their acquisition strategy allows them to benefit from the industry’s growth without the risks associated with pure-play developers.

Boeing, a leader in traditional aviation, has also set sights on the emerging eVTOL market. Boeing’s most notable investment in the eVTOL space is Wisk Aero. Formed as a joint venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation (founded by Google co-founder Larry Page), Wisk Aero has gotten major financial backing from Boeing. Wisk is working on autonomous eVTOL aircraft designed for urban air taxi operations. Their current focus is on developing a four-seater eVTOL capable of self-flying operations. Following a proven playbook for large giants, Boeing could end up taking the role of a talent scout. They’re keeping tabs on the cutting edge and could swoop in to buy a potential superstar.

Airbus (AIR)

Airbus (AIR) is appealing for investors seeking a well-established player with deep resources, likely to become a major force in eVTOLs if their focus on R&D continues.

Airbus, another aerospace giant, is taking a more active approach. Airbus sees eVTOL as a key component of UAM, aiming to develop electric air taxis for congested cities. Their designs, like the CityAirbus NextGen, target short-distance flights within cities, connecting airports, suburbs, or important hubs.

Airbus will likely aim for a multi-pronged eVTOL business model. They could manufacture the eVTOL vehicles, provide air traffic management, or even operate their own air taxi service. One key advantage Airbus has over pure-play developers is experience in certifying traditional aircraft. This could also play out as brand trust, especially for potential safety concerns from consumers.

Toyota (TM)

Toyota (TM) is a long-term play, betting on its legendary manufacturing expertise being critical to mass production of eVTOLs, with Joby Aviation as their primary partner.

Toyota isn’t building its own eVTOL, but it has a strong partnership with Joby Aviation. They’ve invested heavily in Joby since 2020 and have a seat on their board of directors. Toyota’s strength lies in its manufacturing expertise and quality control. After all, Toyota’s are known to be ultra-reliable cars, so why not apply those skills to “flying cars?” The company aims to apply its “Toyota Production System” to bring down costs for Joby while scaling up production volume.

Honeywell (HON)

Honeywell (HON) is a diversified play for investors who believe the entire aviation industry will benefit from eVTOL growth, as their core business is supplying critical components and systems.

Honeywell plays a crucial role in the eVTOL industry as a supplier. Rather than building the vehicles, they provide key components to eVTOL manufacturers. These include flight controls, electric propulsion, auxiliary power units, avionics, and thermal management.

For example, Honeywell Anthem is a megawatt-class electric propulsion system for larger eVTOLs. While Honeywell Assisted Landing (HAL) aims to provide automatic landing capabilities. Honeywell has secured partnerships with leading eVTOL developers like Volocopter, Joby, and Jaunt.

The eVTOL revolution is on the horizon, and these companies are leading the charge. Whether you’re seeking the upside of pure-play eVTOL developers, the balance of companies with diversified businesses, or the experience of major industry players making strategic bets, there’s an eVTOL investment strategy to match your risk tolerance and vision for the future of transportation.

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