Country introduction

In May 2022, press reports said the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has asked Beta Technologies (in partnership with the Blade group) to explore the Indian market for eVTOLs. Blade already has a presence in India with its helicopter services.

The reports said:
“India will see the deployment of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to ensure urban air mobility in the days to come, said Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation….We are already in conversations with a number of eVTOL technology producers in the U.S. and Canada. To start with, newer aviation technologies are being adopted by the Army and the Air Force. Once they become proofs of concept... that is when they permeate into the civil space.”

In September 2021 two Chennai-based startups involved in the flying taxi market, announced progress in developing eVTOLs. Vinata Aeromobility, demonstrated a scale model of “Asia’s first hybrid flying car” at the Helitech Expo in October 2021. According to the projects founders t will run on hybrid power, both electrical and sustainable biofuel. Vinata’s two-seater, hybrid, based on eVTOL technology, will have a range of 100 km and a cruise speed of around 120 km per hour.

“The same aircraft platform will support low-altitude air cargo flights, which will have a weight capacity of up to 250kg,” said the company’s Yogesh Ramanthan. “Therefore, we see more use cases in emergency medical services, fire services and the defence sector. Personal mobility and flying taxis come in the third stage.”

The other startup, ePlane, originally beginning life at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and set up in February 2019, is aiming to create “an affordable flying taxi that not only promises quiet and pollution-free travel but also significantly less travel time.”

Satya Chakravarthy, the ePlane founder, said, “We actually have a footprint of 4×4 metres, which is the most compact eVTOL vehicle in the world. This essentially means we are targeting to take off and land from rooftops of apartment complexes, high-rise buildings, the front yards of urban homes and offices in the middle of cities.” Adding, “This makes it more accessible at all places.” ePlane plans to find a manufacturing base in 2023 with an initial annual capability of 100 planes. Bengaluru and Mumbai are to be the company’s entry markets.