According to a report by SCMP on Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group declared that its Aerofugia subsidiary had completed a test flight of its flying car prototype, moving the company one step closer to its goal of commercialising electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
Two months after obtaining the country’s first licence for a manned flying car, a test flight of the AE200-series eVTOL vehicle with a tilt-motor configuration was conducted.
Flying Car Initiative
The flying vehicle, according to Aerofugia, can carry a pilot and four passengers, and it was designed for safe and comfortable intercity and interurban transportation.
Geely’s successful test flight, according to Wang Ke, a senior consultant at Beijing-based consultancy Analysys, shows that the company has the requisite scientific and technical capabilities to realise the commercial potential of its flying vehicle idea.
Ke did point out that China’s flying car sector is still just starting.
According to a statement released by EV manufacturer Xpeng Motors, the two-seater eVTOL unit of the two-seater X2 electric flying car, AeroHT, obtained a special permit to continue manned flights on the same day as Aerofugia’s test flight was completed.
“It's the highest selling electric car in EV-obsessed China right now.”
This helps AeroHT’s efforts to progress the manufacturing of its sixth-generation eVTOL vehicles for the regional market, according to Xpeng.
The AE200 can currently be used for logistics, emergency medical services, and sightseeing thanks to government approval, giving it a practical alternative to a conventional car.
Urban aviation sector
According to Morgan Stanley estimates released in 2021, the urban aviation sector is expected to grow by around $1.5 trillion by 2040, with China accounting for around 29% of the market.
According to the SCMP, the Chinese government has continued to ease restrictions on low-altitude airspace or airspace below 1,000 meters in order to facilitate the rapid growth of the civil aviation sector.
The Ministry of Transport announced in March 2022 a development plan that includes flying cars as one of its major projects from 2021 to 2035.
The SCMP notes that eVTOL vehicles currently being tested are designed to reduce urban surface traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation has also developed and tested a prototype flying vehicle in hopes of making cars fly into the sky.