October 25, 2023
A two-pronged approach to developing eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicles was introduced at the fifth annual Tech Day held in Guangzhou China this week.
Xpeng Aeroht, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Xpeng, introduced a vehicle described as like a moon rover for Earth, along with a modular version.
Both would be fully road-driving vehicles with the flight mechanisms hidden.
In one, the propellers protrude, and the vehicle takes off vertically.
In the modular version, the electric aerial vehicle (EAV), comes out of the back of the vehicle, the vehicle pulls forward and the EAV is left standing alone in takeoff mode, according to a video from Xpeng.
This is one of the few EAV approaches coming directly from an automaker. Hyundai is also approaching the market in a similar fashion, with its Supernal subsidiary.
The Xpeng modular flying car is the first mass-produced model designed for flying, commuting and off-road adventures, according to the company.
Xpeng Aeroht is believed to be the largest flying car company in Asia, with more than 800 employees.
Xpeng recently opened a testing center to develop eVTOL vehicles in Foshan, China.
The flying car ground transportation test center was designed to research new flying technologies, according to the company.
The testing center has numerous components, including a flight base to validate flights,
durability tests and certification flights, a flight test center for prototype flight testing, a
powertrain experiment center to test electric motors, batteries and high-voltage electrical components, and a ground comprehensive testing center to cover all aspects of research and development for flying car flight processes.
Xpeng Aeroht raised $500 million in a series A financing round in 2021 and is backed by a consortium of investors, including Sequoia China, Eastern Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital.
The company recently conducted an autonomous test of its EAV with the two-seater X2 taking off, flying over buildings and landing, showcased in a video by the company.
The company also has flown its EAV across the Xiang River in Hunan province, China.
The test center Ehang created is one of numerous eVTOL facilities being constructed around the world.
Like what you've read? For more stories like this on flying cars and other emerging technologies,
sign up for our free daily email newsletter to stay updated!
For example, Joby Aviation, recently announced the building of a facility in Dayton, Ohio, to deliver up to 500 eVTOL vehicles a year, Brazilian commercial aircraft company Embraer is building a production facility for eVTOL vehicles and Volatus Infrastructure teamed with Ace VTOL to build vertiports for EAVs to take off and land in Australia.
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like