Suzuki Agrees To Make “Flying Cars” With SkyDrive

Motorbike and car maker Suzuki signs agreement with SkyDrive to co-operate over the manufacturing “flying cars”

The futuristic vision of a world of “flying cars” has edged a stepped closer, after a big name Japanese automotive manufacturer signed a noteworth deal with SkyDrive Inc.

Motorbike and car making firm Suzuki announced that it has signed an agreement with SkyDrive Inc, for the “manufacturing of flying cars.”

SkyDrive is not to be confused with Microsoft’s former cloud storage service. Instead it is a Japanese electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) specialist, and the deal with see a Suzuki factory begin flying car manufacturing in the Spring of next year (2024).

Signing Ceremony. From left Hidetoshi Kumashiro, Executive General Manager Suzuki, and Tomohiro Fukuzawa, CEO SkyDrive.
Image credit Suzuki

Flying cars

The two firms announced that SkyDrive will establish a 100 percent owned subsidiary to manufacture “flying cars”, with both parties utilising a Suzuki plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.

Suzuki will also cooperate with SkyDrive’s manufacturing subsidiary in preparing for the start of manufacturing, including securing of human resources.

SkyDrive eVTOL.
Image credit SkyDrive Inc

Specific terms of the agreement will continue to be discussed and will be agreed on separately.

“I’m very excited to be working together with SkyDrive,” said Hidetoshi Kumashiro, executive general manager at Suzuki.

“We will make ambitious strides toward the development of products of superior value, so that we can contribute to the realization of air mobility, which utilises the sky for daily transportation,” said Kumashiro.

SkyDrive eVTOL.
Image credit SkyDrive Inc

The deal comes after the two firms in March 2022 signed a deal to team up in research, development and marketing of flying cars.

eVTOL partnership

The advent of eVTOL flying vehicles may be closer than many people think.

Earlier this week electric air vehicle start-up Eve Air Mobility announced it is to extend an existing partnership with Blade Air Mobility to use Eve’s upcoming aircraft in Blade’s European networks, starting with France.

Eve Air Mobility's eVTOL aircraft. Image credit: Eve Air Mobility
Eve Air Mobility’s eVTOL aircraft. Image credit: Eve Air Mobility

New York City-based Blade, whose European routes include flying conventional helicopters between Nice and Monaco, has an existing deal with Eve to use its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles in the US and India.

Blade is to focus on developing practical applications for air mobility, including identifying future routes in France and other European countries.

Eve Air Mobility's eVTOL aircraft. Image credit: Eve Air Mobility
Eve Air Mobility’s eVTOL aircraft. Image credit: Eve Air Mobility

The start-up, one of a number of companies developing eVTOL craft for short routes centred around major cities and airports, is planning for its vehicle to start commercial operations in 2026.