Air taxi maker Joby gets $10M California pre-production AAM grant

Leading global advanced air mobility (AAM) company Joby may have decided to set up its future production line in Ohio as the most financially alluring locale vying for its presence, but California is looking to get as much job creation and economic activity from the Santa Cruz-based air taxi startup before its focus shifts east – and has just handed over a nearly $10 million grant to prove it.

Joby announced today that it has been awarded a $9.8 million California Competes grant by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, which is to be used to finance the air taxi developer’s continued expansion in the state. The AAM firm will use that money to reinforce its current pre-production capabilities, as it prepares for the certification and launch of its full-scale manufacturing plant in Dayton, OH slated for 2025. 

Under terms of the grant, Joby has committed to creating 690 additional full-time jobs in California by 2027. It’s also investing $41.3 million to expand its pre-production air taxi manufacturing capacities, and to prepare training programs and facilities for future AAM pilots and aircraft maintenance specialists.

If California officials are resentful of Joby’s decision to succumb to Dayton’s siren song – and the $350 million in Ohio’s support of the factory’s construction; plus $93 million in new tax credits; and an additional $110 million grant now under consideration – they aren’t showing it. 

In addition to providing Joby the financial wherewithal to muscle up its pre-manufacturing capabilities that will enable it to launch air taxi services in 2025, the California Competes grant will actively support the native AAM company’s push to obtain aircraft type certification from the Federal Aviation Administration

Which is to say if California is cheesed off about Joby’s move to Ohio, it’s being a good sport about it – a graciousness the startup appreciates and requites.

“We’re honored to receive a prestigious CalCompetes grant from our home state of California to support pilot training and the growth of our manufacturing facilities in advance of early operations,” said Joby CEO JoeBen Bevirt. “Joby was founded in 2009, today employs more than 1,250 people across the state, and we’re thrilled to be able to keep growing in California as we deliver revolutionary emissions-free flight.” 

Once it introduces and begins expanding AAM services with that California financial wind at its back, Joby’s focus will shift to the new Dayton plant, whose 2,000 employees are expected to produce up to 500 air taxis annually when it comes in line in two years.

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