NEOM, the smart and sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia and Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility, have established a joint venture (JV) company to design, implement, and operate the world's first bespoke public vertical mobility system in NEOM.
Air taxi and vertical logistics services will be fully integrated with the overall multi-modal and zero-emission public transit system in NEOM. The JV will be the sole operator of initial public transit routes across NEOM, while enabling an open eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) ecosystem for vertical mobility services including logistics, emergency response, and tourism. NEOM has placed a confirmed order of 15 Volocopter aircraft to commence initial flight operations within the next 2-3 years.
Nadhmi-Al Nasr, Chief Executive Officer at NEOM, said: "In designing cities and urban infrastructure for the 21st century, mobility is at the centre of the equation. Through this joint venture with Volocopter, we are demonstrating to the world that NEOM is the ideal region to implement urban air mobility rapidly and create a fully integrated vertical mobility ecosystem. NEOM is on a mission to become a global living lab for future mobility, and we are very excited to see what the future holds as we grow."
The collaboration between NEOM and Volocopter will lead the design and development of a truly three-dimensional public transportation system, advancing the technical, regulatory, and infrastructure solutions for eVTOL operations across NEOM. The JV will offer vertical mobility services as an integral part of NEOM's multi-modal and zero-emissions public mobility system, providing seamless connectivity for passengers and goods.
Florian Lennert, Head of Mobility at NEOM, said: "We are incredibly excited and proud to partner with Volocopter to make vertical mobility a reality here at NEOM. Volocopter is internationally recognized for leading innovation in the eVTOL industry and is a perfect match for our ambitious goals to create the first truly sustainable, shared, and seamlessly integrated mobility system in the world. Volocopter's expertise, experience, and vision will allow us to lead the design and implementation of eVTOL operations regionally and globally. I am truly looking forward to jointly revolutionizing mobility."
Volocopter and NEOM have agreed on an initial order of 10 VoloCity passenger and 5 VoloDrone logistics aircraft to support early activation of flight operations. The JV will scale up its activities from the beginning of 2023 to incubate urban air mobility (UAM) in the region and seed a vertical mobility ecosystem. The partnership delivers on NEOM's mission to be a global living lab for future mobility and a centre of excellence for eVTOL innovation and industry.
On this new partnership, Christian Bauer, Chief Commercial Officer at Volocopter, stated: "The partnership with NEOM and the new JV we are creating together is going to be an exciting journey. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be an essential part of designing and operating a completely new UAM ecosystem from the ground up without the constraint of legacy infrastructure or regulation, and as pioneers in the industry, Volocopter is honoured to be the trusted partner to contribute to NEOM's ambitious vision."
eVTOLs are an essential part of NEOM's mobility mission, enabling transportation of people and goods without extensive surface infrastructure. Vertical mobility services will connect NEOM's core urban development THE LINE, reimagined industrial city OXAGON and other regional destinations, avoiding extensive road construction and thus protecting its unique natural environment.
NEOM is implementing the first truly sustainable and seamlessly connected mobility system powered by 100% renewable energy, deploying zero-emission vehicles across all urban and regional mobility modes. NEOM will shape the future of mobility by closely integrating advanced smart infrastructure and advanced transit systems with active, shared, and autonomous mobility solutions to overcome the adverse legacy of the car-centric city. Working with a range of innovation partners, NEOM has initiated shared electric mobility services, autonomous shuttles, electric boats, personal eVTOLs, delivery drones, and solar-powered mobility hubs.
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will be the home and workplace to more than a million residents from around the world. It will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centres, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate, and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity – all supported by a progressive law compatible with international norms and conducive to economic growth.
Find out more about NEOM Mobility at: www.neom.com/en-us/sectors/mobility.
Volocopter brings urban air mobility (UAM) to megacities worldwide. We aim to improve the quality of life for people in cities by offering a fantastic new mode of transportation. For that, we create sustainable and scalable UAM-ecosystems with partners in infrastructure and operations.
Volocopter's family of eVTOL aircraft will offer passengers (VoloCity and VoloConnect) and goods (VoloDrone) swift, secure, and emission-free connections to their destinations, supported by VoloIQ, the UAM ecosystem's software platform that serves as its digital backbone for safe and efficient operations.
As a pioneer in the UAM industry, Volocopter will launch commercial services within the next few years. Founded in 2011, the company employs more than 500 people in Germany and Singapore, has completed over 1,000 successful public and private test flights, and raised €322 million in equity from investors, including Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, BlackRock, and Intel Capital.