|German electric aircraft company to take flight via SPAC, launch eVTOL jet in 2024|
SPAC mania has touched yet another area of transportation: urban air mobility.
Lilium, a Munich company developing electric personal aircraft, said Tuesday it would go public on Nasdaq via merger with special purpose acquisition company Qell Acquisition Corp.
The move follows similar SPAC announcements from Archer Aviation, based in Palo Alto, Calif., and Joby Aviation, based in Santa Cruz, Calif.
At the helm of San Francisco-based Qell is Barry Engle, former president, North America, at General Motors. Qell focuses on next-generation and sustainable mobility and transportation.
The deal values Lilium at about $3.3 billion and is expected to close this quarter.
Along with the announcement to go public, Lilium launched its seven-seat electric vertical takeoff and landing jet, which will be the company's first aircraft to go into serial production. In Lilium and Qell's statement Engle called the eVTOL a "game changer for transportation."
Lilium says that the Lilium Jet can go 175 mph at 10,000 feet, with a range of more than 155 miles, a vision that the company has been working on for five years. The jet, which draws upon the company's full-scale five-seat electric air taxi prototype, is expected to be used primarily for intercity flights.
Lilium said commercial operations are expected to launch in 2024.
"Our vision is to create a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed travel and bring this to every community," Lilium CEO Daniel Wiegand said in the statement. "Transport infrastructure is broken. It is costly in personal time, space consumption and carbon emissions. We are pursuing our unique electric jet technology because it is the key to higher-capacity aircraft, with lower cost per seat mile while delivering low noise and low emissions."
– Alexa St. John