October 20, 2023
A Chinese eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle maker has entered into an agreement with the Hefei Municipal Government in China to jointly develop the ecosystem for the new breed of electric flying vehicles.
The governmental agency agreed to support EHang Holdings, the urban air mobility technology platform company, with funding of $100 million.
As part of the deal, EHang and the government plan to develop a low-altitude economy ecosystem at a central park in Hefei City, the capital and largest city of Anhui Province, a five-hour drive west from Shanghai.
This park is planned to become the world’s premier unmanned urban air mobility super aero hub, according to the EHang.
The municipal government plans to support EHang by facilitating purchase orders for at least 100 of EHang’s EH216 series unmanned aerial vehicles, along with providing $100 million in financing.
This is believed to be the world’s first unmanned eVTOL two-passenger vehicle cleared for commercial use.
During the validation process, the flying vehicle underwent laboratory, ground and flight tests at test sites across multiple locations in China.
The tests included “structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, environmental conditions of equipment and systems, software simulation, data links, ground control stations, overall system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance and flight stability characteristics,” according to the company.
The electric aerial vehicle (EAV) had more than 40,000 test flights for adjustments, according to the company.
The EAV company has raised $23 million in a private placement, mostly from a well-known South Korean music producer.
EHang also has a deal with the Bao’an District Government of Shenzhen municipality for a strategic partnership in urban air mobility for commercial operations of aerial vehicles following certification.
Five EHang flying cars have already been delivered for aerial tourism and sightseeing in Shenzhen, China. The delivery marked the start of a 100-unit order from Shenzhen Boling Holding Group.
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