HT Aero, the flying car offshoot of Chinese electric car manufacturer Xpeng, has raised more than half a billion US dollars from a number of investors in its Series A funding round.
The exact amount is not mentioned in the announcement, it only talks about “over 500 million dollars”. Among others, the investment companies IDG Capital and 5Y Capital participated in the financing round, but also Xpeng itself. However, HT Aero did not specify the current valuation of the company after the financing round.
Formerly known as Xpeng Heitech, the company plans to bring electric VTOLs to market from 2024 and plans to invest the capital in its research and development and in expanding its workforce, among other things. HT Aero is taking a different approach to many eVTOL start-ups: instead of commercial air services (the much-cited air taxis), HT Aero wants to focus “on developing three-dimensional, smart and sustainable urban air mobility (UAM) solutions for individual consumers”.
“Our mission has always been to explore efficient, safer, and carbon-neutral mobility solutions that go beyond smart EVs,” says He Xiaopeng, founder and CEO of Xpeng. Guangfu Cui, Partner at IDG Capital, added: “What we are seeing is the integration of the three driving forces of smart mobility – disruptive technology, new sources of energy, and mass production. We will embrace this opportunity, which is unprecedented in the history of modern transportation. The investment in HT Aero will further accelerate the build-up of our ecosystem to integrate driving and flying.”
Xpeng is not alone in the Chinese auto industry with the flying car project. Geely is also working on eVTOL with Terrafugia, and Volkswagen is also evaluating the technology in China. However, there is still no corresponding regulation in China.
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