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Japanese insurer Aioi Nissay invests in Joby Aviation

Japan’s Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. announced this week that it is investing in California-based eVTOL developer Joby Aviation and will work with Joby to develop specialized insurance products for eVTOL air taxis.

Joby eVTOL prototype
With its five-seat air taxi prototype, Joby is targeting speeds of 200 mph (320 km/h) and a range of more than 150 miles (240 km) on a single charge. Joby Photo

Aioi Nissay announced the investment in a Japanese-language press release dated July 21. According to an automated translation of the release, the company expects eVTOL aircraft to occupy an important position as a new means of transportation, and joins major Joby investor Toyota Motor Corporation in seeking to participate proactively in this emerging domain.

Aioi Nissay said it will collaborate with Joby to study exclusive insurance products and services, which could potentially include premiums based on how an eVTOL aircraft is actually flown. These would be similar to its telematics insurance products for automobiles, in which premiums vary according to actual driving behavior.

In the press release, Joby Aviation founder Joe Ben Bevirt expressed appreciation for the investment, and Joby’s interest in growing its eVTOL business in Japan.

eVTOL.com has reached out to Joby for comment and will update this story with further details as they become available.

Joby is developing a five-seat, fully electric VTOL aircraft for urban air mobility missions. Earlier this month, its prototype was transported from its headquarters near Santa Cruz, California, to an approved test site for expansion of its flight envelope.

Joby is an Uber Elevate partner and is aiming to have its electric air taxis ready for initial commercial service by 2023.

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