Automakers have emerged as key partners for a bevy of aviation startups working on electric “air taxis,” Axios‘ Joann Muller reports.

Why it matters: It’s a critical time for the emerging urban air mobility sector.

Leading developers of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft hope to get Federal Aviation Administration certification within the next couple of years.

The intrigue: They need capital and manufacturing expertise to bring their aircraft, which look like oversized drones, to market and begin whisking passengers across cities or to the airport.

Automakers can help on both counts while ensuring they remain on the cutting edge of transportation.

Driving the news: Jeep and Chrysler parent Stellantis said yesterday it will manufacture an electric air taxi with Archer Aviation.

It also plans to invest $150 million in Archer, following its $75 million investment in 2021.

The big picture: Other auto giants are collaborating with aviation startups.

For instance, Toyota is a major investor in Archer rival Joby Aviation. Porsche, Hyundai, Honda and Daimler are also in the game.

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