Xpeng's flying car unit to accept orders

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An XPeng X2 flying car on display at the third China International Consumer Products Expo, Haikou, Hainan province, April 11, 2023. [Photo by Wang Yiming/]

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng Motor's flying car unit Xpeng Aeroht said its modular flying car will be available for preorders in the fourth quarter, with plans to begin mass production and delivery to individual users in the last quarter of 2025.

The company revealed this at the ongoing 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the world's largest consumption technology show that concludes on Friday.

More than 4,000 exhibitors, including over 1,000 Chinese companies, are participating in the event this year.

As Xpeng Aeroht's second breakthrough vehicle, the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) flying car made its international debut at the CES, demonstrating the transition between terrestrial and aerial modes.

The vehicle boasts a two-part design, with the air module facilitating vertical takeoff for low-altitude flights, while the ground module, which envelops the air module, allowing for ground transportation.

Beyond helping individual drivers take to the air, the modular flying car holds potential for public services like emergency rescue, satisfying both public and private demand, the company said.

"The future of mobility goes beyond cars. Whether people want to travel by car, air or other modes, we aspire to change what's possible," said Gu Hongdi, vice-chairman and president of Xpeng Motors.

China is gradually opening up its low-altitude airspace for personal use, and it is seen as a market with significant potential for flying cars.

The low-altitude economy was listed as a national strategic emerging industry at the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held in December. Local governments have been making efforts to map out more specific policies.

Xpeng Aeroht, the largest flying car company in Asia in terms of the scale of its team, has been exploring low-altitude flights for more than 10 years as it races to take flying cars from concept to reality.

In 2022, the company accomplished a test flight of a prototype weighing about 2 metric tons.

The flying car is designed for future three-dimensional transportation, with the company proceeding to mass production once related policy, regulation and application scenarios become more mature, it said.

Globally, the urban air traffic sector has entered a quick development phase.

Japan and South Korea both elevated industrial planning of the sector to the national level in 2020.

Companies such as Lilium, Volocopter, Kitty Hawk and car manufacturers Audi and Geely have been involved in the development of flying cars, according to market research provider LeadLeo Research Institute.

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