China’s civil aviation administration accepted passenger aircraft’s airworthiness application and began to confirm flying cars’ airworthiness requirements.
Why it matters
This would be good news for XPeng since the company has been already developing flying cars.
Background on Xpeng’s HT Aero
HT Aero, an affiliate of Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng, publicised a flying car on Sunday that it says can also drive on roads.
HT Aero recently revealed its fifth-generation flying vehicle, the Xpeng X2. This vehicle is able to
- handle autonomous flight take-off and landing for certain city scenarios
- achieve back-end scheduling, charging
- flight control.
HT Aero suggests that its main aim is to provide UAM solutions for individual consumers, rather than businesses, which would certainly be in line with Xpeng’s goals.
HT Aero’s UAM vehicles will also have a part to play in Xpeng’s mobility ecosystem that aims to integrate driving and flying. Xpeng’s CEO, He Xiaopeng, plans to go into further detail about that ecosystem at the company’s Tech Day event, to be held on 2021 October 24, along with other updates into autonomous technology, flying vehicles, supercharging technology, and robotic unicorns.
Why make flying cars?
First, Xpeng has abundant investment capital to support its research and development.
In 2021, Xpeng had 98,155 car deliveries, which is up 263% year-over-year. This increase in sales ensures that XPeng has abundant cash flow that can be used in research and investment.
80% of XPeng’s HT Aero team members are researchers. The development of flying cars is supported by XPeng’s strong background.
Second, it is able to attract customers.
The story about flying cars is able to realise many customers’ dreams and make them expect XPeng’s new products.
Xiaopeng He, the CEO of XPeng, has suggested that XPeng’s exploration towards future means of transportation does not end in intelligent cars. The grand environment of ‘run, fly, walk’ is the ideal story of XPeng.