Joby Aviation (NYSE:JOBY) has seen an 80% year-to-date share price surge. Notably, JOBY stock marked a milestone with the first electric air taxi flight in New York City. A partnership with Delta Airlines (NYSE:DAL) has brought about the potential for New York City to become an early launch market (awaiting FAA certification), with Joby currently nearing the completion of its FAA Stage 3 certification.
Joby reported a Q3 2023 cash buffer of $1.1 billion amid an expected early-stage cash burn. This money has been spent well, with the company’s FAA certification progress standing at 84%. Recent tests in NYC and delivering the first electric air taxi to the U.S. Air Force are notable achievements.
Additionally, the company’s backlog, driven by orders from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), is $131 million. Joby invested $264 million in R&D in the first nine months of 2023, signaling its commitment to growth.
All of these contribute to optimism that JOBY stock will do great things and will skyrocket more in the future. Here’s why I think it’s entirely possible that 2024 could bring about new highs for this flying car stock.
The $9.8M Grant
JOBY stock a $9.8 million California Competes grant from GO-Biz for its statewide expansion. The funds will aid the substantial growth of Joby’s Marina facilities, supporting increased manufacturing and training with additional hiring across its San Carlos and Santa Cruz offices. As part of the deal, Joby commits to investing $41.3 million and creating 690 full-time jobs in California by 2027.
The CalCompetes grant empowers Joby to advance early manufacturing for its FAA-type certification and initial commercial operations, slated for 2025. CEO JoeBen Bevirt expressed gratitude for the grant, emphasizing Joby’s commitment to growth in California and its contributions to emission-free flight. The funds will also support the expansion of Joby’s apprenticeship program, providing training opportunities for Salinas Valley residents at its Marina manufacturing facility.
California Senator Anna Caballero affirmed the state’s commitment to advanced air mobility through a grant supporting Joby’s manufacturing expansion in Marina. Marina Mayor Bruce Delgado expressed excitement about new local job opportunities, while Maria Elena Manzo of Mujeres en Acción highlighted the partnership’s inclusive economic development model.
Electric Taxis Coming by 2025
Joby Aviation aims to have electric air taxis ferrying passengers from JFK Airport to downtown Manhattan by 2025. In a recent exhibition flight at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, the electric air taxi showcased its quiet, emissions-free capabilities, with a quick five-minute recharge during passenger transfers. The innovative concept envisions travelers booking these electric air taxis like a rideshare service for a seamless and efficient urban transport experience.
With plans to launch commercial passenger service in 2025, the company is in the third stage of FAA certification. While trip costs are not finalized, they are anticipated to be similar to rideshare prices.
Optimistic on First Electric Air Taxi Flight in NYC
For a decade, Joby developed an innovative electric aircraft with six motors, offering vertical take-off and landing. Designed for commercial passenger service, it accommodates four riders and a pilot, emitting zero operational emissions and minimizing acoustic impact.
Following a successful exhibition flight in New York, Mayor Eric Adams announced plans to electrify Manhattan’s Downtown Heliport, positioning the city as a global leader in sustainable air travel adoption. Joby’s CEO, JoeBen Bevirt, expressed gratitude for the city’s support and emphasized their commitment to making quiet, emissions-free flight accessible to New Yorkers while reducing helicopter noise impact.
In collaboration with NASA, Joby’s aircraft achieved a quiet 45.2 A-weighted decibels at 1,640 feet. Partnering with Delta in 2022 aimed to integrate air taxi services into the Delta experience. Following FAA certification, New York is expected to be one of Joby’s early markets, providing efficient airport transfers. The Downtown Manhattan Heliport aligns with Mayor Adams’ commitment to innovation, emphasizing quieter and greener eVTOLs while facilitating last-mile e-bike deliveries to reduce road traffic.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.