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Flying Cars Are Becoming Reality In China

Multiple Chinese companies are focused on commercializing flying cars, utilizing a design that is different from the popular eVTOL aircraft that have been developed over the last several years, according to a new report from Nikkei this week.

XPeng AeroHT, an affiliate of the electric vehicle startup, plans to market a dual-mode eVTOL vehicle capable of both driving on roads and flying. The Civil Aviation Administration of China is currently reviewing the aircraft for commercial certification.

Nikkei reports that pre-orders in China are set to start in October, with mass production anticipated next year, targeting tourism companies and outdoor enthusiasts. Initially priced around 1 million yuan ($138,000), XPeng AeroHT aims to reduce costs in the future and is also planning to expand internationally.

Qiu Mingquan, vice president at XPeng AeroHT commented: “Normal eVTOL vehicles cannot drive on the ground, but our model is dual use.”

“If large-scale mass production becomes possible, we can dramatically reduce costs,” Qiu said, adding: “The Middle East is an important market for us, given the level of regulation, openness to new things and cost.”

And, hey – the best part is you almost can’t even notice a difference from a regular looking car!

As is blindingly obvious from the above photo, XPeng AeroHT is developing an integrated eVTOL aircraft that doesn’t require detachment, with the flight propeller folding on top during road use.

It debuted a concept model at a Las Vegas trade show in January. Meanwhile, EHang’s two-seater EH216-S, capable of a 25-minute flight per charge, began sales on April 1 after receiving type certification in October. Last month, EHang was authorized for mass production and plans to partner with hospitality businesses for tourism services.

The report notes that China leads globally in eVTOL development, holding 50% of the world’s models, significantly ahead of the U.S. and Germany. This surge is supported by advancements in EV technologies like high-density batteries essential for eVTOLs, with Chinese firms like CATL at the forefront.

Other Chinese initiatives include Guangzhou Automobile Group’s GOVE eVTOL with a detachable aircraft section, and Geely’s Aerofugia, a six-seater for longer flights. China’s burgeoning “low-altitude economy,” which includes eVTOLs, drones, and helicopters, is being actively promoted by the government alongside biotech and space industries, with local support measures from cities like Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

However, the expansion faces challenges such as limited takeoff/landing infrastructure and undefined traffic regulations for eVTOLs.

One eVTOL executive told Nikkei: “We will be forced to fly relatively infrequently for the next few years.”


Zero Hedge

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