The production cost trap for eVTOL upstarts

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By Bjorn Fehrm

April 13, 2023, © Leeham News: Last week, we gave the example of a new propulsion principle 30-seat airliner as a project that would face the liquidity strain of initial production costs. We continue today with a look at the leading eVTOL projects, where development costs are passing $1bn and growing.

What will be the cash burn before these projects generate positive cash flow from serial production sales and services? We use our production cost model to analyze the situation.

Figure 1. Our generic eVTOL uses an early rendering of the Vertical VX4 as an illustration. Source: Vertical Aerospace.

  • VTOL projects promise early payback of invested capital.
  • Our production cost model says otherwise.

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