Shares of Joby Aviation Inc. skyrocketed by more than 40% on Wednesday after the maker of electric air taxis got one step closer to commercial passenger flights.
shares were on track for their highest close since Nov. 16, 2021, when they closed at $9.40, and their largest one-day percentage increase on record.
Joby said earlier Wednesday that it had secured approval from U.S. regulators for test flights of its first electric vertical takeoff and landing, or eVTOL, aircraft.
Proponents say that eVOTL aircraft are quieter and safer to operate than internal-combustion-engine helicopters. Joby plans to launch commercial operations in 2025.
The prototype aircraft is expected to become the first ever eVTOL aircraft to be delivered to a customer when it goes to Edwards Air Force Base in California next year, Joby said. The aircraft will be operated by Joby as part of the company’s $131 million contract with the U.S. Air Force.
Toyota Motor Corp.
is Joby’s largest external shareholder, having invested around $400 million, and the companies recently signed a long-term agreement for the supply of power trains and components. Joby is also partnering with Delta Air Lines Inc.
to ferry Delta customers to and from airports once its air taxis are up and running.
The stock is up 169% year to date, compared with gains of around 14% for the S&P 500
It’s down 43%, however, from a record closing high of $15.70 hit on Feb. 16, 2021.