It Won’t Be ‘The Jetsons,’ But Flying Cars Are Coming

The electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle industry has a lot of players, but one is worth watching. In this clip from “The High Energy Show” on Motley Fool Live, recorded on April 5Fool.com contributors Lou Whiteman and Travis Hoium discuss how Joby Aviation ( JOBY -4.05% ) could be a leader in the space in the next few years and is an enticing investment.

Lou Whiteman: but there are in the last year at least four SPACs that have come public that are making flying cars, or more specifically electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. But eVTOL is a lot less fun to say than flying cars. Let’s just call it that.

Travis Hoium: By the way, this is an industry. I’m all in on. I want this to happen.

Whiteman: Yes, and honestly I think it will happen. I’m showing you one example. Joby Aviation JOBY is the ticker. That’s their version of it, and again, it doesn’t look like anything you saw on the Jetsons, but what you’re seeing is basically those wings will rotate so you can go straight up, straight down. It’s not a flying car, but look, these have real economic advantages both as one of Joby’s partners is Uber ( UBER -2.68% ). Imagine a world of rideshare with this. You can also be down here, I’m in Atlanta, so Delta Airlines ( DA -2.33% ) burns a lot of fuel, flying those tiny little puddle jumpers from Macon to Atlanta to connect into their network. There’s huge opportunities as a green ESG to swap a lot of that flying out with things like this.

Hoium: Private helicopters too.

Whiteman: Yes.

Hoium: That’s a lot bigger. What I think is interesting in this space is a lot of times it’s the people who are doing things that are not feasible for the rest of us who can afford to have their own helicopter or whatever, who are ultimately going to drive that innovation because the cost doesn’t matter. It’s can you make a vertical take-off plane that I can hop into in my backyard. Cool, sign me up.

Whiteman: Yeah, and I don’t know what Travis, maybe you, I don’t think I will have one in my backyard and my lifetime, but.

Hoium: I’ve got a soccer field next to my house, so nobody is going to stop me. [laughs]

Whiteman: I don’t think I’ll be replacing my Honda ( HMC -1.97% ) with one of these, but I do think in my lifetime it’s reasonable that I will board one of these which some of these future techs I don’t think. I would love to spend an hour on this. I would point to a Feb. 7, the IPO show, we spent about 45 minutes of it on all of these companies.

The one thing as an investor, I’d warn you here is, like I say, four SPACs in the last year. You have maybe a half dozen other companies, including some Chinese ones that say that although you can’t see the footage, they are actually running full over networks and making thousands of dollars. They just don’t have any video of it right now. Boeing ( BA -2.27% ) is involved in this. Embraer ( ERJ -3.14% ) is involved with this. There’s a lot of competition.

There are going to be zeros among these investment opportunities. So be careful, they are going to be winners, they’re going to be. There is no way I don’t think that this industry makes it, but I also don’t think there’s any way there’s room for a dozen and more of these separate companies in the next couple of years. Be careful, full disclosure, I do have a small position in Joby just because that’s the one I tend to like. I think it’s backed up just by their balance sheet.

But look, the point is back to our conversation is, we’re not going to have an electric airplane flying us to London. I don’t think in my lifetime unless something comes along on solid-state batteries, it’s not going to happen. But there are still a lot of opportunities here, both to go green thanks to fuel cells and other technologies including carbon deposits. There is a real investable market under the big guys where we are going to see electric aviation coming and I think that market makes sense and it’s fun to get involved in.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thissis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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