VoltAero receives EU funding for hybrid-electric aircraft development
An initial €2.1 million grant and a possible equity portion of up to €11 million will keep the project on track to meet its goal of initiating deliveries of production-version Cassio airplanes in 2023.
Photo Credit: VoltAero
In support of Europe’s Green Deal Strategy and Recovery Plan, VoltAero (Médis, France) reported on Nov. 19 that it has been selected by the European Innovation Council as one of the game-changing start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to receive multi-million Euro funding for its new hybrid-electric aircraft, Cassio, whose production configuration was announced in May. VoltAero was chosen for an initial €2.1 million grant, and also is designated for “blended financing” at a higher value that includes an equity portion of up to €11 million.
VoltAero is said to have been among the top-rated companies in a jury’s assessment of 2,077 candidates for this European Union project’s funding. Receiving a “seal of excellence,” the Cassio project was recognized for its motivated team, aviation knowledge and experience, as well as a sound business model and commercial analysis.
“The European Innovation Council supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions to pressing societal and environmental challenges, supporting the Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe,” says Mariya Gabriel, the European Union’s Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. “These start-ups and SMEs are set to scale up, creating jobs and growth and giving Europe the global lead in green technologies and solutions.”
VoltAero family of hybrid-electric airplanes which are still in development, are for uses that include commercial flights on point-to-point regional routes, operations by air taxi/charter companies, deployment in various utility-category applications and for private owners. The aircraft will be offered in three versions offering from four to 10 seats, with each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality.
“The European Innovation Council’s grant is another vote of confidence for our commitment in taking electric aircraft to an entirely new level,” explains Marina Evans, VoltAero’s director general and co-founder. “This is a recognition of how hybrid-electric aircraft can unleash a revolution in fast, convenient and eco-efficient regional travel — in which our Cassio airplane family will have an important role.”
Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO and CTO, adds that the project funding will keep VoltAero on track to create the aircraft, with a goal to initiate deliveries of production-version Cassio airplanes in 2023. The company’s hybrid-electric module that will power these aircraft currently is undergoing full-scale flight evaluations, using a testbed aircraft operated from VoltAero’s headquarters at the Royan-Médis airport in southwest France.
The Cassio airplanes will be produced at a purpose-built final assembly line in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of southwest France, with VoltAero leading a world-class team of partners and suppliers. Licensed production opportunities will be pursued in North America and Asia.