The Chinese electric car manufacturer Xpeng plans to bring electric flying cars to the market through its offshoot Xpeng Heitech from 2024. The Voyager X2 model currently under development offers space for two passengers.
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Xpeng Heitech was founded back in 2013 and is financially supported by Xpeng founder and CEO He Xiaopeng. The startup is not developing an eVTOL for air taxi services, but what is actually an electric flying car. As company founder Zhao Deli said at the World New Energy Vehicle Congress, the vehicle should be able to travel up to 600 kilometres on the road but did not give any details on the range in flight mode.
One battery charge is supposed to be enough for 35 minutes of flight, and the top speed is 130 km/h. According to Chinese media outlets, the maximum flight altitude is 1,000 metres. In addition to short urban routes, the model is also meant for ambulance transport or police patrols.
The Voyager X2 is already the fifth generation of Xpeng Heitech’s flying car concept. The fourth-generation Voyager X1 was apparently shown at the Shanghai auto show in April. According to Zhao Deli, the fuselage of the X2 is made of carbon fibre composites and is said to weigh 560 kilograms with batteries. The maximum payload is 200 kilograms, which should be enough for two passengers.
In an interview, Zhao Deli said that after extensive market research, it was concluded that the “price range for a luxury car was appropriate for the product”. He specifically mentioned a sum of 800,000 to 1.5 million yuan, which is the equivalent of 105,000 to 198,000 euros.
The electric flying car has already undergone considerable development. In July, CEO He Xiaopeng announced that XPeng Huitian released its fifth-generation flying car, the X2. This was followed by the announcement at the end of August that the Voyager X2 had been tested in extreme environments and high altitudes in three Chinese provinces of Xining and Yushu, Qinghai. Later the same month the flying car was revealed at the Chengdu Auto Show when the company said that the road-and-aircraft had already undergone several internal flight tests in Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Jiangmen in June.
Legalities are still to be worked out before the world is ready for flying cars. The Chinese media also point out that the legal situation in China currently only allows the use of such aircraft with significant restrictions. Reuters also confirms that precise regulations for such aircraft are still pending in China.
Update 13 October 2022:
After the Chinese electric car manufacturer Xpeng announced last year that it intended to launch electric flying cars on the market from 2024 onwards, the company has now conducted the first public flight in Dubai with its eVTOL, which has since been named Xpeng 2. This is the fifth-generation electric flying car, independently developed and manufactured by subsidiary Xpeng Aeroht.
The two-seater has a closed cockpit. To reduce weight, the Xpeng 2’s structure is made entirely of carbon fibre. Xpeng Aeroht plans to announce the key results of research and development work for the sixth-generation flying car, including configuration, exterior design and aeronautical engineering, at this year’s Xpeng Tech Day on 24 October.
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