Over the last few years we’ve seen a slew of startups unveil concepts and prototypes for VTOLs and other flying transportation solutions, though to date, few if any have actually been brought to market. So, while Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer XPeng’s flying car concept may at first appear to just be another drop in the vaporware bucket, the reality is that the Guangzhou-based firm — which is a publicly traded company — actually has the experience, expertise, and resources required to put the world’s first flying car into production.
Unveiled at XPeng’s 1024 Tech Day, the EV outfit’s flying car concept boasts the appearance of a futuristic sports car and utilizes a folding rotor mechanism that allows the vehicle to fit into a regular garage or on a traditional roadway when not in flight. In order to bring the fully-electric flying car to fruition, XPeng called on its urban air mobility subsidiary HT Aero. This has allowed XPeng to utilize HT Aero’s existing research and development, which includes more than 15,000 safe and successful flights. HT Aero has also implemented a myriad of redundant safety features to ensure that a single failing component doesn’t end in catastrophe.
XPeng has yet to reveal information on specs, production numbers, market availability, or pricing, though the company has confirmed that its flying car is scheduled to roll out sometime in 2024. It’s also still unclear what kind of permits or licenses will be required to pilot the vehicle by organizations like the Federal Aviation Administration, but we’ll fly over that bridge when we get to it.