Suzuki E-air Copters: Suzuki aims for sky

[ad_1]

<p>The SkyDrive – with 12 units of motors and rotors – will debut at the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan and may first be pitched in Japan and the US for sales. Thereafter the plan is to look at ‘Make in India’, Ogura said.</p>
The SkyDrive – with 12 units of motors and rotors – will debut at the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan and may first be pitched in Japan and the US for sales. Thereafter the plan is to look at ‘Make in India’, Ogura said.

New Delhi: From being the carmaker that put the nation on wheels, Maruti now seems to aim for the sky, courtesy Japanese parent Suzuki. The company is planning to make electric air copters — bigger than a drone but smaller than a conventional helicopter — to transport at least three passengers, including the pilot.

The idea is to take an early lead in new mobility solutions, which may initially be targeted for consumers in Japan, and the US, and thereafter come – rather fly – into India, and that too very soon. These could be air taxis similar to the Uber and Ola cars running on the ground.

The initiative will not just be limited to exploring India for sales. The company is even looking to manufacture in India for economic reasons, and has been conducting feasibility for the same, including talking to aviation regulator DGCA, Kento Ogura, assistant manager in Suzuki Motor (automobile product planning group), global automobile planning department, told TOI on the sidelines of Bharat Mobility Global Expo.

The SkyDrive – with 12 units of motors and rotors – will debut at the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan and may first be pitched in Japan and the US for sales. Thereafter the plan is to look at ‘Make in India’, Ogura said. “We are doing market research to look for customers and partners in India.”

The Suzuki executive said that to be successful in India, the product cannot be expensive. “It has to be cheaper than a helicopter.”

At 1.4-tonnes, the take-off weight of the air copter is almost half of a conventional helicopter. This enables the use of building rooftops as take-off and landing locations.

Also, due to electrification, the number of aircraft parts has been reduced to one-tenth in comparison to a helicopter. “This results in significant reduction in aircraft manufacturing and maintenance costs,” the company says.

Ogura said that initially the three-passenger version will have a range of 15 kms, which is likely to be doubled to 30 kms by 2029, and thereafter to 40 kms by 2031. “India is a large country, and we a need a range which is more than 15 kms for sure.”

The company is involved in “regulatory discussions” with the government. “We met DGCA officials, and are talking to them to exchange opinions,” Ogura said.

On manufacturing in India, he said that there is “no confirmed timeline as yet”, though adding that “it does make sense to make in India.”

“If we come here, we Make in India. It will surely be cheaper here.”

  • Published On Feb 12, 2024 at 08:30 AM IST

Join the community of 2M+ industry professionals

Subscribe to our newsletter to get latest insights & analysis.

Download ETAuto App

  • Get Realtime updates
  • Save your favourite articles


Scan to download App


[ad_2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *