An electric flying car in Dubai: all the details on the futuristic product from the Chinese company XPeng

China-based company XPeng AeroHT conducted the first-ever public test flight of its electric flying car at Skydive Dubai on October 11 in front of 150 spectators against a backdrop of panoramic cityscape views and excellent airspace conditions. During the 90-second flight, the car demonstrated electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) capabilities. While a commercially-ready car is likely years away from hitting the showroom, the company behind it has demonstrated all the necessary details that the idea is certainly close to becoming a reality.

design and functions

According to XPeng AeroHT, the Xpeng X2 is a “fifth generation” flying car and is independently developed and manufactured by the Chinese company. It’s a two-seater that adopts a minimalist, teardrop-shaped design, giving it a very futuristic look straight out of a sci-fi movie. Here, aerodynamics have been considered to achieve ultimate flight performance, along with weight reduction and a full carbon body.

XPeng X2 front view XPeng X2 seen from the front.

As a fully electric car, it produces zero CO2 emissions and contributes to the global effort to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in favor of greener urban transport. XPeng says the X2 is best suited for low-altitude city flights and “short-haul city trips such as sightseeing and medical transport.”

But perhaps the car’s most exciting feature is its ability to fly autonomously, allowing passengers to perform super-safe takeoff, return and landing operations at the push of a button. There’s also a manual mode for the adventurers out there.

Prices and Availability

There’s currently no word on the car’s pricing and availability, which is understandable given its early stages of development. However, at the company’s 1024 Tech Day last fall, we learned that the sixth-generation flying car could launch sometime in 2024 and cost less than $156,600. This newer generation model will also be able to drive on the road.

Sixth generation XPeng flying car XPeng’s sixth generation flying car can also drive on the road.

While this pricing can also be used to arrive at a price estimate for the XPeng X2, the 2024 availability date sounds far too optimistic, especially considering the many obstacles that must be overcome before a vehicle of this nature is allowed to take to the skies.

Regulatory Barriers

Before an aircraft – including flying cars – receives an airworthiness certificate and is finally released for mass production, extensive reliability and safety tests are required. A report by Protocol states that the world’s only specific vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) standards have been proposed in Europe. Meanwhile, no such certificate has been issued to eVTOL companies in China. In fact, the certificate still has to contain a provision for eVTOL technologies, which means that companies working on such technologies cannot apply even if they want to. All of this, in turn, means that it will be years, even decades, before we see the first flying cars in our everyday lives.



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