Xpeng, China’s EV upstart, ready to take off with flight license • TechCrunch

Xpeng, China’s EV upstart, ready to take off with flight license • TechCrunch

Xpeng, China's EV upstart, ready to take off with flight license • TechCrunch

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

Xpeng, a Chinese electric vehicle upstart, is preparing to launch its eVTOL into the air as it gets a key regulatory green light.


Aeroht, owned by Xpeng and Xpeng founder He Xiaopeng, has just obtained a special flight permit from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the Chinese counterpart to the US Federal Aviation Administration. The clearance allows Aeroht’s X2 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft to fly with a pilot under special conditions. With the permit, Aeroht says it will launch a series of manned flight tests to accumulate data for future mass production.

The X2, which Aeroht describes as a “flying car”, is a two-seater carbon fiber quadcopter without wheels – although the company’s next-generation plane appears to be a sedan with wings, according to concept photos on its website.

For now, X2 is designed for “future low-level urban flight and is perfect for short-haul urban journeys such as sightseeing and medical transport,” its product information says. It can be operated manually or in autonomous mode which automates start-up, return and landing operations. The model has performed more than 3,000 tests since its maiden flight in June 2021.

Aeroht is one of two companies spun off from nine-year-old Xpeng and raised funds independently. In October 2021, the airline pocketed over $500 million in a Series A round led by IDG Capital, 5Y Capital and Xpeng itself. Do you remember the robot pony to ride for kids? It is Xpeng’s other project, Xpeng Robotics, which racked up a Series A of $100 million in July last year. IDG Capital was again the lead funder, with participation from Xpeng.

Xpeng is pursuing these new ambitions at a time when its core EV business is hitting a speed bump. The automaker has pushed back its profit target until 2025 after a disappointing 2022, in which it achieved less than half of its annual sales target, Bloomberg reported earlier this week. The Guangzhou-based company is facing a price war with Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD, which focuses on affordability, and Tesla, which has cut prices repeatedly to attract more frugal consumers to the bigger world automotive market.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button