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Electric Flying Vehicles Lose Power; Rolls-Royce Pulls Plug

The company had long been working on advanced electric propulsion systems for electric aerial vehicles

Chuck Martin

November 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce is backing out of the electric flight business to focus back on its core jet propulsion business.

The company has spent years working on advanced electric propulsion systems for electric aerial vehicles (EAV).

That electrical division is now being put up for sale.

“We are also clear where we will not invest and re-allocate capital to parts of the business where we can generate more value,” said Rolls-Royce CEO Tufan Erginbilgic.

“We will only sell assets at the right time and at the right price. For example, in Rolls-Royce Electrical we are looking at options to exit in the short run or alternatively for the right value, reduce our position to a minority with an intention to exit fully in the mid-term. 

“We believe, given the world-class capability we have built in Advanced Air Mobility, that this will represent good value to a third party and will allow us to focus on our core electrical engineering activities in Power Systems, Defense and Civil Aerospace.”

U.K. eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle) maker Vertical had been working with Rolls-Royce as its power supplier.

Besides Rolls-Royce, Vertical’s partners include Honeywell, which designs the aircraft control system. 

Rolls-Royce also was an investor in Vertical, so that future is still in question.

Related:Vertical Aerospace Flies Full-Scale Electric Aircraft

The next year is likely to be a shakeout year for the EAV industry, as 2025 launch dates draw near and funding resources are stretched as innovation and costs ramp up ahead of revenue.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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