Industrial products, solutions and technologies company Honeywell and mobility supplier DENSO announced the establishment of an alliance aiming to develop and manufacture electric propulsion systems for aircraft.

Bringing together Honeywell’s and DENSO’s respective backgrounds in automotive and aerospace technologies, the collaboration will initially prioritize the urban air mobility (UAM) segment, with a focus on air taxis and delivery vehicles. The companies stated that they are already in advanced discussions with current and prospective customers and intend to deliver flight test configurations of the electric propulsion systems within the next year.

Dave Marinick, president, Engines & Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, said:

“Honeywell technologies have helped power human flight for more than 100 years, and as electric propulsion for aircraft takes shape, Honeywell will be at the forefront with partners like DENSO. DENSO’s leadership in automotive technology combined with our experience in Aerospace will help bring about cleaner and smarter ways for people to move throughout the world.”

Today’s announcement comes as companies are increasingly focused on the development of the sustainable air transport market. Last week, electric aviation startup BETA Technologies announced that it had raised $368 million in a Series A private funding, with investors including Fidelity and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. Earlier this year, United Airlines announced an agreement with electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) developer Archer to assist in the development of battery-powered, short-haul aircraft.

The collaboration also aligns with Honeywell’s recently announced 2035 carbon neutrality commitments, and the company’s strategy to direct research and development investments towards leading-edge sustainability technologies. According to Honeywell and DENSO, the development of the UAM segment will enable cleaner, safer, more efficient, quieter and freer-moving transportation in and between cities.

Jiro Ebihara, a senior executive officer and head of the Electrification Systems Business Group at DENSO, said:

“Mobility needs are changing, and this collaboration represents how DENSO is evolving to meet them. While we have committed to achieve a carbon-neutral society, we still need to reduce traffic and offer eco-friendly movement in population-dense areas. Working with Honeywell will help address both these issues and furthers our goal of creating mobility that is green and offers peace of mind.”