US air taxi developer Joby Aviation has an agreement with private jet operator Clay Lacy Aviation to install its first electric aircraft charging station in Southern California. 

The start-up disclosed on 8 January that the charging infrastructure will come as part of an $100 million redevelopment project planned for Clay Lacy’s fixed-based operator terminal at John Wayne airport in Orange County. 

The charging station will support “the safe and efficient operation of all electric aircraft under development today, including Joby’s quiet, emissions-free air taxi”, the company says. 

Joby’s Global Electric Aviation Charging System (GEACS) is currently in use at Edwards AFB near Los Angeles and at the company’s pilot production facility in Marina, California. 

Joby eVTOL at Edwards AFB

Source: US Air Force

Joby’s charging infrastructure supports ongoing flight-testing at Edwards AFB and in Marina, California 

The installation is targeted for completion in mid-2025. It will serve as a node in Joby’s planned air taxi network in Southern California, which the company expects to be among the first regions in the USA to launch electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft operations. 

In 2022, Joby formed a partnership with Delta Air Lines to “deliver seamless airport trips for its customers across several locations, including Los Angeles”, it says. 

Chief executive JoeBen Bevirt calls the announcement a ”key moment on the path to delivering our air taxi service in the greater Los Angeles area”, adding that Joby is ”taking concrete steps to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support our future service”. 

The broader eVTOL industry is targeting the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles as a potential showcase for air taxi technology. 

In a push for the widespread adoption of its GEACS, Joby has made the specifications of its system freely available to the broader electric aviation industry. 

“The charging technology we have developed is optimised to support our whole industry, from air taxis delivering short range city flights to more conventional electric aircraft flying longer distances,” Bevirt says. “Joby made the specifications for the universal charging interface freely available to the wider industry in November 2023 to help accelerate the transition to clean flight.” 

Rival air taxi makers Archer Aviation and Beta Technologies, meanwhile, are calling for eVTOL makers to adopt the automotive-based Combined Charging Standard as Beta builds a network of charging stations on the East Coast of the USA.