* Eve plans fundraising for flying taxi certification by 2026

* Eve's eVTOL orders include clients from Brazil, US, India, France

* Eve hopes to fly first full-scale prototype by year-end

SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, Brazil, June 10 (Reuters) - E lectric aircraft maker Eve expects to raise funds as early as next month to finance operations through the certification of its flying taxi in 2026, Chief Executive Johann Bordais told Reuters.

Eve, which is majority owned by Brazilian planemaker Embraer , has enough cash and borrowing facilities to fund operations through 2025, but the company forecasts certification and entry into service in 2026.

Eve is one of numerous startups worldwide developing battery-powered aircraft that can take off and land vertically to ferry travelers on short city trips. Its orders come from clients in countries such as Brazil, the United States, India and France.

Among companies to have signed letters of intention to purchase Eve's eVTOL are U.S. carrier United Airlines, charter firms Global Crossing and Air X, as well as aircraft lessor Azorra.

Bordais did not say how much Eve wants to raise or what form the fundraising may take.

Eve debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in May 2022, raising around $400 million to develop and produce its eVTOL aircraft, a project initially slated to cost $540 million.

It later secured an additional 490 million-real ($92 million) facility from Brazilian state development bank BNDES. By the end of the first quarter this year, Eve's total liquidity stood at $280 million.

"We are doing well in terms of cash," said Bordais, who took over the firm in September. "Our goal, our second round of fundraising, is to guarantee it through certification."

Bordais said eVTOL's development is on schedule. The company recently released images of its first full-scale prototype, which it hopes to fly without a crew by year-end.

Ground tests for the prototype are expected to begin in July, he added, following successful wind-tunnel testing last year.


Eve's most pressing need is getting the aircraft certified. It applied in 2022 to Brazil's civil aviation regulator and expects that domestic validation to be followed by approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration.

Eve has not delayed its 2026 outlook for certification since its initial public offering, which analysts at Jefferies last week said was a rarity in the sector, noting the firm is financially strong.

Eve has amassed nearly 3,000 orders and chosen most of its component suppliers ahead of production, with 90% of its supply chain budget in place.

"But it all starts with certification," Bordais said.

The company's first factory will be in Taubate, Brazil, capitalizing on proximity to major railways and roads, and to Embraer, whose headquarters are in neighboring Sao Jose dos Campos.

Bordais said the Taubate plant is expected to build up to 120 eVTOLs per year in its first phase and eventually reach annual capacity of 480 aircraft.

A potential new factory abroad is possible but not a priority, he said, adding the U.S. could be an option.

"That's not fully decided. Let's start with this factory (in Taubate), produce and deliver."

($1 = 5.3528 reais) (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Brad Haynes and Rod Nickel)