September 23, 2023
A testing center to develop eVTOL (electric takeoff and landing) vehicles has opened in Foshan, China.
The “flying car ground transportation comprehensive testing center” was designed to focus on research and validation of new flying technologies, according to Xpeng Aeroht, the company behind the center.
Xpeng Aeroht, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Xpeng, Inc., is believed to be the largest flying car company in Asia, with more than 800 employees.
"This center will conduct comprehensive ground tests, including strength, load, vibration, durability, environmental factors and materials,” said Shuo Chen, head of the testing center. “It will support product validation from virtual simulation to real-world testing."
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 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.
"The completion of the testing center in just four months will provide us with valuable time for the R&D of the next generation flying car, which is currently in a crucial research and development phase,” said Zhao Deli, Xpeng Aeroht president and founder. “Xpeng Aeroht’s pioneering testing and flight system will continue to play a core role, assisting us in achieving mass production in the next two to three years."
The company recently conducted an autonomous test of its electric aerial vehicle (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 new testing center is one of numerous eVTOL facilities being constructed around the world.
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.
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