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Flying cars — or eVTOLs — are becoming reality. Would you ride in one?

In 2022, I was on a rooftop overlooking a runway surrounded by olive trees in the south of Spain. An aircraft hovered in the sky and zipped off into the distance.

It was my first up-close encounter with an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, popularly known as flying cars or air taxis. As the name suggests, these aircrafts are all electric and take off and land vertically, rather than requiring a long runway, as do commercial planes.

Proponents of the aircrafts see them as viable alternatives to travel in urban environments or between nearby cities.

There are dozens of companies that are making eVTOLs globally, from China to the U.S. and Europe. One of them is Lilium, whose jet I am referencing. Earlier this year, I visited the company's headquarters in Munich, Germany, to see what progress has been made since 2022. The company has begun manufacturing its jet.

The eVTOL market could be worth $1 trillion by 2040, according to JPMorgan, and several firms are trying to take the lead.

In the latest episode of CNBC Tech's "Beyond the Valley" podcast — which you can listen to above — Tom Chitty and I explore the world of eVTOLs, from regulation to consumer acceptance, and look ahead to when these vehicles might take off in a big way.

You can subscribe to "Beyond the Valley" by clicking the links below to your chosen platform:

Apple Podcast

Google Podcasts


Here is a transcript of the episode of "Beyond the Valley" released on Mar. 27, 2024. It has been edited for clarity.

Tom Chitty:If you commute to work in a city, chances are you spend part of that journey on a train of some sort traveling through a vast network of tunnels. You may be on one right now. That's because in the last 100 years, much of