EIB provides €40 million for Wingcopter to scale up electric delivery drones and logistics services
|The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide a €40 million quasi-equity investment into Wingcopter GmbH, a European leader and pioneer in unmanned delivery drone technology and related services. Founded in 2017 in the German state of Hesse, Wingcopter’s electrically powered unmanned aircraft are already delivering goods as part of several small-scale commercial and humanitarian projects.|
|The EIB investment is backed by the European Commission’s InvestEU programme under its sustainable infrastructure window. Using electric cargo drones to deliver urgently needed goods can replace carbon- intensive modes of transport such as motorcycles, vans and helicopters, thereby contributing to the transition towards a green and sustainable economy.
The Wingcopter 198 is expected to be operated for the first time in Germany this summer when Wingcopter launches a pilot project in southern Hesse to test the potential of on-demand transport of groceries and other consumer goods. The project’s goal is to improve local supply in rural German communities through a sustainable delivery service and will be conducted together with the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport.
What makes Wingcopter’s cargo drones truly unique is their ability to take off and land vertically while flying quickly and efficiently over long distances like an airplane without the need for expensive infrastructure. They can carry up to 5 kg and cover distances of up to 100 km. The core hardware and software is patented worldwide. Already running on pure battery power, the Wingcopter team, together with Hamburg-based ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research GmbH, is currently developing a green hydrogen energy system to power Wingcopter’s drones for even longer flight times.
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for activities in Germany, said: “Europe is currently the global leader in cleantech, and we must work hard to maintain this lead. Backing European cleantech pioneers with global reach like Wingcopter is central to our mission. Electric cargo drones are an important vertical segment for a future of sustainable transport and logistics. This investment underlines our commitment to supporting entrepreneurs growing and building advanced green technology businesses in the European Union, strengthening our technological competitiveness, creating highly skilled jobs and opening up new markets, while preserving nature. We are proud to be supporting this European success story.”
European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “This agreement is an excellent example of how InvestEU is helping businesses access the finance they need to innovate and expand. InvestEU will continue to support investment that will allow Europe to maintain its position as a world leader in the development and production of innovative products with positive real-world applications.”
Original article HERE Image: wingcopter.com