Xpeng 2-seater car flies in Dubai to better explore 'future mobility'

Updated: October 13, 2022 Source: China Daily
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Guests and reporters check out XPeng's flying car, the X2, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Monday. [Photo/Agencies]

Chinese electric carmaker Xpeng's aviation arm tested a flying vehicle on Monday in the United Arab Emirates, marking a major step toward the global urban mobility market.

The electric X2, the fifth-generation model of Xpeng Aeroht, finished the test flight at the GITEX Global 2022, one of the world's most influential technology events, held in Dubai. The model made its global debut in Shanghai in July 2021.

This was the first public overseas flight of the China-made model. Brian Gu, vice-chairman and president of Xpeng, said it is a significant milestone for the company, calling it "a major step in Xpeng's exploration of future mobility".

The two-seater X2 weighs 560 kilograms and is designed with low-altitude urban scenarios in mind.

It can fly up to 35 minutes, with a maximum flight speed of 130 kilometers per hour. The flying car can be manipulated manually or fly autonomously.

"It will be suitable for future low-altitude city flights and is perfect for short-distance city journeys such as sightseeing and medical transportation," said the company.

Unlike airplanes and helicopters, flying cars can offer quick point-to-point personal travel. Flying cars are known as eVTOL vehicles, with the acronym standing for electric vertical takeoff and landing.

There are dozens of companies in the promising sector, including established carmakers such as General Motors and Hyundai as well as startups like Aeromobil and Volocopter.

Xpeng Aeroht, Asia's largest flying car company, said it is working on its sixth-generation model, which can run on roads as an ordinary car and fly as an eVTOL vehicle. Like the X2, it will have both manual and autonomous modes.

Gu said more details about the latest product will be released at a company event later this month.

Xpeng revealed the plan about it last year, saying the model will be mass-produced in 2024, priced below 1 million yuan ($139,200).

The emerging eVTOL vehicle sector is viewed as a future solution to urban traffic congestion and a new alternative to personal mobility in cities.

Consultancy Roland Berger expects up to 160,000 flying vehicles to operate as air taxis by 2050 across the world.

Morgan Stanley, a global financial services company, estimated the sector will grow into a market worth $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050.

Editor: Yu Huichen