What next for the tech


In 2022, I was on a rooftop overlooking a runway surrounded by olive trees in the south of Spain. An aircraft hovered in the sky and zipped off into the distance.

It was my first up-close encounter with an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, popularly known as flying cars or air taxis. As the name suggests, these aircrafts are all electric and take off and land vertically, rather than requiring a long runway, as do commercial planes.

Proponents of the aircrafts see them as viable alternatives to travel in urban environments or between nearby cities.

There are dozens of companies that are making eVTOLs globally, from China to the U.S. and Europe. One of them is Lilium, whose jet I am referencing. Earlier this year, I visited the company’s headquarters in Munich, Germany, to see what progress has been made since 2022. The company has begun manufacturing its jet.

The eVTOL market could be worth $1 trillion by 2040, according to JPMorgan, and several firms are trying to take the lead.

In the latest episode of CNBC Tech’s “Beyond the Valley” podcast — which you can listen to above — Tom Chitty and I explore the world of eVTOLs, from regulation to consumer acceptance, and look ahead to when these vehicles might take off in a big way.

You can subscribe to “Beyond the Valley” by clicking the links below to your chosen platform:

Apple Podcast

Google Podcasts

Spotify

Here is a transcript of the episode of “Beyond the Valley” released on Mar. 27, 2024. It has been edited for clarity.

Tom Chitty: If you commute to work in a city, chances are you spend part of that journey on a train of some sort traveling through a vast network of tunnels. You may be on one right now. That’s because in the last 100 years, much of the infrastructure for city transport has developed underground, but the ways we get around our urban areas may soon change with innovators looking not just above ground, but up in the sky. I’m looking forward to this episode because I don’t know where we’re at, where the landscape for, you’re gonna say the word

Arjun Kharpal: eVTOLs. What does that mean?

Tom Chitty: I don’t know. I don’t love it.

Arjun Kharpal: I just generally am not a fan of acronyms on the whole.

Tom Chitty: Who comes up with acronyms? Who’s the, you know, who’s responsible?

Arjun Kharpal: Well, they just put the words together and then you know, whatever letter they start with.

Tom Chitty: Also nightmare to type out because it’s lowercase E, for anyone that doesn’t know and then it’s capital letters for everything else.

Arjun Kharpal: Electric vertical takeoff and landing. Electric. Vertical, that’s the V. Takeoff — “T”, “O”. Landing. That’s the “L”. That’s eVTOL. That’s what it stands for. An eVTOL aircraft. Do you wanna hear a fun plane story before we we start this episode? I’ve got a lot. Do you want to hear the funnest one? When I was on holiday recently, I took a plane ride. It was a 12 hour plane ride. And it was a plane ride from hell is how I describe it. So you know, we get onto the plane. And there’s already an hour and a half delay. And then the the pilot over the tannoy says, oh, we’ve got another 20 minutes delay. We’ve just found somebody vaping in the bathroom, which of course is illegal. So plane hasn’t taken off, three people kicked off the flight. You know, I’m sat with my friends. And there’s a large group of men about 20 of them sort of surrounding us. And they’d gotten to the the flight quite inebriated and got progressively more inebriated and they were sort of walking up and down the aisles. There was a fight in between their own group.

Tom Chitty: Physical fight?

Arjun Kharpal: Almost turned physical. You know, there was squaring up, almost. I go to the back of the plane and ask for a bottle of water, and a gin and tonic. That was my nightcap. Well, it was the afternoon but I was ready for sleep so I could adjust to the times where I was going. They said no, we’ve shut the entire bar for the plane because of this rowdy group of of people. Anyways, I get back to my seat, I noticed this group of people had opened the duty free bottle of alcohol, again, something you’re not supposed to do, bag needs to remain sealed until your destination. So again, progressively more inebriated. Second fight broke out. I’d also learned from the flight attendant that someone had lit up a cigarette in the bathroom. Again, illegal. One of their group was head butting a chair, threw up. Then one of his mates started a fight with one of the flight attendants. Anyways, all settled down. And eventually, we landed, and the pilot announces oh, we’re going to we’re going to just stop here for a minute for the regular check from the local authorities. The regular chair of course, there’s a regular check. There’s not. Nine police.

Tom Chitty: Nine arrests?

Arjun Kharpal: No, no nine police came onboard. There were roughly 13 people taken off that flight.

Tom Chitty: Essentially being arrested.

Arjun Kharpal: They were arrested. Yeah, they went peacefully. I mean, you would.

Tom Chitty: Probably in hangover mode.

Arjun Kharpal: They were definitely in hangover mode. Anyways, that was my vacation. I’d love to hear if our listeners have had any kind of experiences like that.

Tom Chitty: Maybe you were on the flight as well. If you do want to tell us your trips from hell, then you can email in beyondthevalley@cnbc.com and we’d love to hear from you.

Arjun Kharpal: Thankfully, these eVTOLs aren’t big enough to have a group of 20 people going on a bachelor party

Tom Chitty: Before we get into the main topic for today. Let’s do Arjun’s stat of the week.  

Arjun Kharpal: $35.8 billion.

Tom Chitty: $35.8 billion. Okay. Arjun, we’ve explained the acronym eVTOL stands for but give us a little bit, a brief overview of what exactly we’re talking when we say eVTOL.

Arjun Kharpal: So these are these are electric aircraft, basically, often maybe with space for two-to-six passengers. And they don’t take off and land like aeroplanes, they take off and land as the name suggests, vertically, which obviously is great for space. It’s very similar to a helicopter, what a helicopter does, though the technology is a bit different. So no runways, and that’s effectively what they are. They’re passenger aircraft, run on electric and designed I think for sort of within cities, but also in between cities, too. So we’re not talking about long distance, you know, 12 hour flights like I took, but it’s more shorter distance, kind of flights, perhaps in between cities in the same country, or even within a city itself.

Tom Chitty: Why not call them flying cars?

Arjun Kharpal: I call them flying cars. But you know, the industry likes to reject such populist terms, I think. They are flying cars, they’re flying cars,

Tom Chitty: These vehicles aren’t necessarily actually cars with wheels, either, because I know that you’ve done you’ve got a program coming up soon about eVTOL. And there is one car, which is actually a car that turns into a flying.

Arjun Kharpal: So there’s also that concept. One of the interesting things, as we’ll talk about, and if you watch that episode, you’ll see is there’s so many different designs and concepts right now for what one of these vehicles should look like, both from a design point of view, but also from a technology point of view, what kind of system are you using, to propel the aircraft. So I think you’ll see some of those car designs look like cars, maybe even in the future, there’ll be a sort of hybrid, can drive on the road, wings come out, and off it goes situation. But a lot of them now are looking kind of like a hybrid between, you know, a drone, as you know it, one of those remote control drones, but on a much larger scale crossed with kind of an aircraft.

Tom Chitty: There’s four of them. And there’s hundreds of different designs for eVTOL. But there’s four major ones. Take us through them.

Arjun Kharpal: I’ll give you a handful of them. Multicopter is one of them, a type of design where you’ll see almost like helicopter propellers, but a number of them across the aircraft. So they’re great for takeoff and landing much like a like a helicopter vertically. But they’re really not efficient at long distances. So that’s one style. You’ve got the lift and cruise design. This combines his multicopter approach with more of a sort of traditional aircraft approach. Again, good for the up and down. But also good for longer distances. You’ve got this, what’s known as a ducted vector thrust. And one of the companies that uses this kind of system is Lilium, which, you know, talk about visiting the sites a couple of times over the past couple of years. They use multiple individually controlled electric ducted fans that push the vehicle upwards, basically.

Tom Chitty: Like a hover?

Arjun Kharpal: It’s great for hovering, they’re quieter, they can fly long distances, they can take off and land vertically. So I mean, those are some of the sort of main, there’s many, many more kinds of technologies, as well. The tilt rotor is another one, which has, as the name suggests, these sort of rotors, these almost propellers that are on a tilt to help it kind of go forward and back as well. And up and down. So there’s all these different systems.

Tom Chitty: Some of those designs are actually already in use for I think military helicopters.There might be some listeners, including myself, who might be thinking, a vehicle, flying vehicle, which takes us short distances, I think there might be one in existence, it’s called a helicopter. So why do we need these when we have helicopters already?

Arjun Kharpal: I think there’s a number of reasons. One, the safety record of helicopters has been called into question a number of times, you know, versus aeroplanes. The fact that they’re not electric. And you know, we’re trying to move towards a greener and more sustainable world. So that’s another thing in favor of this. Helicopters are noisy, very noisy, versus some of these these aircraft, but also, the price point of helicopters, they’re inaccessible, mainly to, to you and I. You know, we can’t just sort of rock up. And the way that a lot of these companies are positioning these these, these sort of eVTOL is they’ll run a kind of Uber system, almost a sort of ride hailing system, obviously, they’re not going to come to your house, but you’ll go to and we can talk about that, what might be known as this sort of micro airport or a vertiport, you’ll go there. But effectively, you can book an app. And the idea is there’s going to be a fleet of these run by an operator. And they should generally be quite affordable to run.

Tom Chitty: But premium, still comparative to. So like your Uber Lux but maybe a step up from that.

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah, still slightly premium, but the price point will look to come down and it’s looking, you know, I mean, we live in London, right? I’m sure many of our listeners live in other cities where traffic’s bad. Traffic is bad. I mean, we’re thankful in London to have a very good public transport network, which helps, you know, you can certainly get to a lot of places in the city quicker on a train than you can on in a car, that’s for sure or even sometimes walking. But there are many cities where that’s not the case public transport isn’t there, infrastructure isn’t there, cars are heavily relied on, the traffic’s bad. You know, think about this. Now you take that out the equation you fly above the traffic. That’s another point that is in favor of why people are investing so much in the eVTOL.

Tom Chitty: When you say investing so much. Where are we at when we talk about sort of the market situation, and these early stages of this industry?

Arjun Kharpal: Millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars have been invested. A lot of VC, venture capital money has gone into these companies, just a few of them, you got Lilium, they’re based in Germany, you got EHang, they’re out of China. They’ve been around for a while as well. Even Airbus, you know, Airbus, the company that makes the big jets even they’re investing in this space, Archer Aviation, Joby, the list goes on. There’s a number of names, and a lot of them are the startups have. A lot of the startups have got VC money, backing them, because they feel this is a big area. Now, let’s be honest, it’s a bit of a gold rush at this point. And not all these companies are going to survive, have viable business models, their technology won’t win out. But that’s I think the stage we’re at right now, there’s a lot of investment going in because of the promise of the technology. And we see that in so many areas, right electric vehicles and various other areas. And that’s where we’re at right now. Infrastructure non existent.

Tom Chitty: Well, that was going to be my next question. But before we get to that, just on the growth element 2021 report from Morgan Stanley predicted the market for eVTOL will be worth $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050. I mean, that is a lot of money.

Arjun Kharpal: What what makes up that $9 trillion? You’ve got the companies that are making the aircrafts, and selling those. There’s that. And then you’ve got all the bits around that. Right. What about the you know, you have airlines these days, right? You have all the airlines in the world, and they buy the planes from Airbus and Boeing, right? I think you’ll see a similar model you have you have airlines, to some extent, whatever they might look like in the future running these fleets of air mobility vehicles, urban air mobility vehicles, eVTOLs, I think that’s how they will work. So you know, they’ll charge you, they’ll charge a fee, they’ll have to buy the hardware, and then there’s all the servicing that comes all the companies that service and then you know. What do these things look like in the future?

Tom Chitty: Exactly. I think the designs are still to be determined, or what’s the most effective. You talked a little bit about infrastructure. And I’d also like to talk about regulations. Because today, if you wanted to take a helicopter ride over a major city is going to cost you a lot of money. And you don’t see it often because it’s very difficult to do and the airspace is limited. So something is drastically going to have to change to accommodate, essentially, hundreds of these eVTOL flying around above our heads.

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah, there’s no there’s no infrastructure. You’ve alluded to this feature program we’ve got coming out looking at the future of these, these flying cars, basically in these eVTOLs. As part of that I went to Munich to visit a company called Lilium, went to their headquarters, their production facility is huge. So there’s infrastructure there happening, they have this huge, multiple hangars, where they’re testing. And so there’s infrastructure in the sense of the companies building the product, that’s happening. And actually, in 2022, I went to the south of Spain, where they had a testing site. So there’s some testing sites around the world happening. One of those, Lilium, is in the south of Spain. You know, EHang, which is a Chinese company that makes these passenger drones. They have a testing site in Guangzhou, where I used to live. That was interesting. I visited that as well. I mean, that was before anything was happening in Europe, they were well ahead of the game, the test flights, all sorts. So that infrastructure is there. The next step is how do you then go from yes, you can build them yes, you can sell them to how do I get from A to B?

Tom Chitty: And where are these things going to land.

Arjun Kharpal: What was fascinating about EHang was they were they were taking these off into the sky from what was effectively a shopping mall.

Tom Chitty: Like a car park, or above a small carpark?

Arjun Kharpal: It was a small area of a shopping mall. There was a strip of restaurants in this outdoor area, there was an office, a big office building and right next door, they were doing test flights. So I think that was great because it showed you actually how little space you need to do it.

Tom Chitty: These things aren’t as big. Don’t have the necessary the wingspan of a helicopter.

Arjun Kharpal: And I mean, some of them do. Yeah, I think Lilium’s was like 14 meters or something, it was huge. But you don’t need the runway, right? You don’t need a massive strip of land for these things to take off, they just go up, I think what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna see these, whatever new modern style of helipad, micro airport vertiport, they call them effectively, you know, from one from A to B. So, there might be one, let’s say you’re in London, there might be one, you know, in the center of the city somewhere, that takes you to I don’t know, Heathrow Airport, or one of the big airports, or maybe there’s, there’s one pad here in London and the other ones in another city, say Birmingham. You know, and that might be, you know, point to point, just as you have a train station point to point, but these things need to be a lot smaller. They’re just a little area of land. So the key is going to be what these look like.

Tom Chitty: Just on the regulation front. Yeah. I mean, these companies surely have to sort of have that in the front of their mind, because why would they continue pumping all this money in if someone’s never going to allow, you know, hundreds of flying vehicles in the air at any one time? So do we know kind of where we’re at, like, the early discussions on that?

Arjun Kharpal: What’s been, I think, really interesting about this area is the regulators have been quite on board with it all. Yeah, so I’ll go through some of the sort of major jurisdictions that are trying to make big movements of this. You know, China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, they’ve actually given a, what they call a type certification, to one of EHang’s vehicles. I think it’s a two seater passenger vehicle. So they can actually now carry out if they want to commercial operations. Well, yeah. Very interesting, I was telling you about the shopping center experience, takeoff and landing. So the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA, they also have a program for certifications, as well. So they’ve set out clear guidelines, this is what you need, for us to feel comfortable to operate these. So in their view, they’ve got things like the aircrafts need to pass a certain number of certifications, the pilots need to be certified. And they believe operations can be at scale, at one or more sites by 2028, it’s not a long way off. You don’t often see regulators sort of give a timeline to kind of say, you know, we want these in operation by then. They’re quite forthcoming.

Tom Chitty: Is that because they’re trying to just be the leaders in a new tech industry? Well, it’s an aerospace industry, but with a lot of tech.

Arjun Kharpal: I think so. I think so partly to be the leaders, but also, with the benefits you can. There’s a lot of tech we talk about, do we need it? But actually, this could be quite game changing. Really, if you think about it, think about the way travel time cutting down, better for the environment.

Tom Chitty: You know, I had a conversation once with, I think it was my dad. But anyway, he said, imagine, you know, an alien came from another planet, and looked at our, the way we travel, and they can see us on roads, driving in vehicles going really fast right past each other. And, you know, when there’s all this space, and they’re going, you’re crazy, like, why are you limiting yourself to these roads rather than just going where you want to go? If you think like that, then it kind of makes sense. And how we have been traveling, maybe it’s not the best way for us to get around.

Arjun Kharpal: I don’t think it’s not the best way to get around. I mean, using that airspace, from a practical perspective, I flew one of these aircrafts myself, in virtually reality. So I was there. And I was piloting one of these aircrafts over London. I was like, This is great.

Tom Chitty: So was it just a joystick?

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah, I had my headset on my virtual reality headset. I’m not like an aerospace expert, but it was up and down, go, stop.

Tom Chitty: Stop. Mid-air?

Arjun Kharpal: Hover.

Tom Chitty: Hover?

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah, just just hovering over the River Thames, and looking around and spotted the London Eye. Big Ben. Flew past CNBC’s offices. But that’s quite nice. I just land on the roof.

Tom Chitty: So it was easy to operate.

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah, I’m sure they’ve simplified it. But I think actually also it is. Yeah, it’s pretty simple.

Tom Chitty: Because that would be my next question is who’s going to fly these? You know, obviously, if they’re like a taxi sort of operation, then you’re gonna get a license, but are you going to need it a helicopter license and a pilot’s airplane license?

Arjun Kharpal: I think there’ll be special licenses. You know, the the the U.S. aviation administration has already said that there’s going to be special pilot”s license. So you need to you need to. So there’s gonna be a lot of that. I mean, you know, I don’t know how lucrative this is going to be in terms of would you know, a pilot give up their airline job to fly these or or could you and I train?

Tom Chitty: I imagine they’d be super excited that, you know, new forms of employment opening up because pilots seemingly are losing their jobs. And again, we go on to autonomous aircraft because to me having a pilot in there seems redundant, particularly as you know, we move towards a world where planes, commercial planes, it’s not unfeasible to think that they could be pilotless

Arjun Kharpal: But the pilots have to be in there right now. And I think that you know that pilotless … when I was speaking to the CEO of Lilium, on that trip, I said, you know, what about autonomy. He’s like, not right now. We need to get these in the sky, we need to prove they’re safe. We need to prove the viability of them to the public. Autonomy is down the line, it can be done. But he goes not right off the bat. So I think autonomy is going to be a stretch. I mean, it’s the same thing as autonomous cars, right? We’re looking at now we’ve been talking about for ages, but we’re no closer to having them out on a mass scale. Well, in China, they are. But we’re no closer to really having them out on a mass scale.

Tom Chitty: Because what we’ve had some incidents.

Arjun Kharpal: Yeah. And while the tech’s there, it’s that the regulators need to be, this needs to be watertight, even these with the pilots need to be watertight?

Tom Chitty: Well, that I mean, the safety element is going to be is going to be paramount. When we talk about aircraft safety in commercial aircraft, the safety protocols checks are extensive, hence why it’s very rare to have an accident on a commercial aircraft, very rare. Private aircraft’s are slightly more risky, but still, there are safety checks. But these are happening. You know, that’s also why, you know, it costs so much because there’s so many people involved in checking every time a plane lands, going over the plane, checking all the settings checking that, you know, everything’s in working order. And if eVTOLs are a several flights a day, are we going to have those safety checks happening? And that, again, is going to ramp up the cost. Because you’re going to need people to do that, you know, these things are going to need to be on the ground to be them re-checked.

Arjun Kharpal: There’s a lot. Yeah, there’s all those practical considerations, I think that aren’t necessarily being spoken about right now. I think, maybe there’ll be less safety checks, than aeroplanes. I’m not sure they’re that, you know, large jets have so many different parts to them, right? These almost feel, or at least they’re being marketed as you kind of step in, off you go, you know, pretty easy,

Tom Chitty: Because you talk about cars, right? Yeah, you have an engine failure and a car, you pull it over to the side of the road. If you have an engine failure in an eVTOL.

Arjun Kharpal: That’s why some of these models are talking about individually controlled fans or propellers

Tom Chitty: So that if one fails?

Arjun Kharpal: They use this term redundancy. So if one fails, you’ve got backups. And it would take a lot of them to fail to bring the aircraft down. And so there’s all of those. I mean, the other thing is, this is one giant computer, basically, flying in the sky. So there does bring that element of risk in into it, you know, computers can fail, but then on the flip side, they can also be monitored remotely. And so there’s all of that, too. You know, the safety elements just going to be so key. And will the public go on it?

Tom Chitty: You’re leading into it beautifully

Arjun Kharpal: Would you go on it?

Tom Chitty: I think I would, obviously at a price that felt right, but right now it feels like it would be still the preserve of the uber wealthy. So yeah, but if it became something like, you know, that we have a ferry that goes down the River Thames, Uber clipper. Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s more expensive. It’s probably the most expensive public transport you can take. But, you know, you take it once in a while. And it’s a nice experience, but it’s not outrageous.

Arjun Kharpal: I praised London transport earlier because I think it is very good. Transport around the rest of the country, however, is lacking. I feel like it’s so expensive to get a train in the U.K. I wonder, you know, given given that, how much the cost of these this, say I wanted to go from I don’t know we get London to another city to maybe Birmingham to Manchester, which actually some of these eVTOLs can do that distance. And that makes sense, right? Because it could be quicker. And you just you just kind of sit in this aircraft for a short amount of time and you’re there, rather than sort of going in to like a train station, and then you know, getting on training and all that way. Those journeys these days are really expensive. So I wonder how much sort of an eVTOL would cost in comparison because it could bring some competition to the train operators, because if the train operator is already so expensive, and these eVTOL operators are going to be pricing, you know, on the premium end, but maybe that looks very similar to a train ticket. You’d opt for the eVTOL maybe.

Tom Chitty: But that may be where it’s most effective and most practical as well. Because actually, if you think about going to a location within the city to then go to another location, but you’ve got to get to the vertiport, get on the, you know, you’re waiting for a few other people to get into your eVTOL, and then land and, and the checks and whatnot. Actually, it might be quicker just to take the tube. But your to your point, actually, between cities, those are the journeys, which you know, it could be much more.

Arjun Kharpal: I can’t imagine the point of them flying around a city like London, for example, or even some of the other European cities where there’s public transport networks in place, I can’t see the point of it. While I was in virtual reality flying over London, I was thinking like, realistically, there’s tall buildings here, there’s tall monuments, how are you going to operate something like this at scale across this airspace. Whilst London is like a sprawling, a large city, it’s still quite tight. It’s still quite packed even up in the sky, there’s a lot more skyscrapers going up these days. So I’d be interested to see whether in the future what takes off, is the use really about that longer distance tthat currently we might drive to over three to four hundred miles? Or take a train? Or is it actually within cities? And I feel like, for me, what makes most sense now, and I guess it’s going to depend country by country as well on their infrastructure. But for me in the U.K., for sure, it’s about it’s about those city to city journeys.

Tom Chitty: I know that one analyst called it the mother of all aerospace bubbles, which I think you quote on the program. Is that is that a rare dissenting voice in this? Or are there a lot of people questioning the viability of this?

Arjun Kharpal: I think, the mother of all aerospace bubbles, I think it is true in the sense that there’s a lot of companies doing this. And as I mentioned earlier, not all are going to survive, there will be collapses, there will be consolidation, there will be some failures, companies that just don’t quite make it who have maybe raised, you know, millions of dollars of money. That is where we’re at right now. But that happens all the time with these these cycles, right? We’ve seen it already in electric vehicles, you know, every company trying to raise money, and some have already collapsed, not quite made it. We see it in AI, right now. Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles, forming companies raising money. But that’s what happens with tech cycles, when there’s some hype around technology, you often see a lot of money invested, you know, venture capitalists and others betting on who’s going to win, who’s going to win out. But it would be very difficult for all of these companies to survive that have raised money. And so there will be collapses in that sense. But in terms of as we think through the technology, and as we think through the use, I feel like during this discussion, it’s become clear that you know, there will be a market for it. But that just needs to be figured out. And there’s so many hurdles here. Like, we’re talking about certifications being handed out and companies doing test flights and everything. But one issue with this with any aircraft, right, this thing could get grounded to a halt. And then secondly, you know, it’s public acceptance, isn’t it? Would you get on one? Would you feel safe getting on one, even if, you know, you’ve got all the safety checks and stuff, are you going to be an early adopter? Are you not? Are you going to wait a few years see how this pans out? There’s all of those questions as well. The price point, is this going to be reserved for the super wealthy, all of those things? So I think just to rightfully throw some some sort of balance and skepticism around the growth of eVTOLs, there are a lot of limiting factors and potential that I see that could pop up at any moment that could really slow down the growth of the industry. And so whilst it’s very exciting, whilst it would be cool to have I think there’s a lot of things that need to be worked out, from infrastructure to safety to regulation to then public acceptance and people saying, you know what, I feel safe enough to jump on one.

Tom Chitty: Before we finish, just wanted to flag the history of flying cars or you know, the 1940s, the 1950s that was sort of amazing the U.S. had their their own secret program trying to develop these, it looked like a flying saucer. So I’m sure the conspiracy theorists were loving that. And also, we can’t finish this episode about flying cars and eVTOLs without talking about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the OG. And obviously, you know, a close affinity with Chitty Bang Bang.

Arjun Kharpal: That’s your nickname isn’t it?

Tom Chitty: Was for a time for a time for a time. I’m trying to bring that back actually. Yeah. That would be nice.

Arjun Kharpal: Nice musical.

Tom Chitty: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a classic. Before we finish the episode, we have of course, got to do stat of the week, which is

Arjun Kharpal: 35.8 billion U.S. dollars, Tom.

Tom Chitty: $35.8 billion. The market value of eVTOLs in 2030.

Arjun Kharpal: Close. 2032. eVTOL market size 2032. Well, you’re right. You’re right, though. You’re right. Just take the full credit. You basically got it.

Tom Chitty: Okay, I’ve got to stat the week for you. How much money do you think it costs to take the 15 minute journey in a private helicopter from Battersea in central London yet to Heathrow airport.

Arjun Kharpal: In pounds?

Tom Chitty: In pounds.To hire a six seater helicopter.

Arjun Kharpal: Six seater helicopter. Battersea to Heathrow, £350.

Tom Chitty: £2000

Arjun Kharpal: No. No. Yes. That is wild. That’s almost same price as the underground here. I joke. I jest that was clearly a joke. Yeah, no, that’s, that’s very surprising. 

Tom Chitty: Well, I’ve really enjoyed that. And I’m sure our listeners have and if you have any questions on eVTOLs, or you just want to give your opinions on this burgeoning industry, then please email us at beyondthevalley@cnbc.com. Thank you, Arjun.

Arjun Kharpal: Thank you, Tom.

Tom Chitty: We’ll be back next week for another episode of beyond the valley. Goodbye.

Leave a Comment