With the assistance of its Japanese parent company, Suzuki, the leading Indian carmaker Maruti is now aiming for the sky by planning to develop electric air copters. According to a report in the Times of India, the Maruti Suzuki Electric Air Copters will surpass drones in size but remain smaller than traditional helicopters, with the capacity to transport at least three passengers, including the pilot.
Maruti Push for New Mobility Solutions
Maruti aims to seize an early lead in new mobility solutions, with initial targets set on consumers in Japan and the US before expanding to India. Similar to ground-based Uber and Ola cars, these air taxis hold the potential to revolutionize transportation.
Maruti not only seeks to explore the Indian market for sales but also contemplates manufacturing in India to reduce production costs. Kento Ogura, assistant manager at Suzuki Motor (automobile product planning group), global automobile planning department, disclosed to TOI that the company is engaging with the aviation regulator DGCA and conducting feasibility studies to turn this vision into reality.
Maruti Suzuki Electric Air Copters
Maruti Suzuki unveils its electric air copters named SkyDrive, which is equipped with 12 units of motors and rotors. It will debut at the 2025 Osaka Expo in Japan. Initially targeting Japan and the US markets, Maruti plans to introduce the technology to India under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The company conducts market research to identify potential customers and partners in India. Affordability is critical for success in the Indian market, emphasized by Kento Ogura, an assistant manager at Suzuki Motor, who stressed the need for the product to be cheaper than helicopters.
With a take-off weight of 1.4 tonnes, the air copter is nearly half the weight of conventional helicopters, enabling the use of rooftops for take-off and landing. Electrification has significantly reduced the number of aircraft parts, leading to lower manufacturing and maintenance costs.