China’s Xpeng Aeroht has conducted two public debut flights for its aircraft in recent months, and in October completed a 90-second test flight near the renowned Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai. The company’s billionaire founder He Xiaopeng and other investors are betting big that they will overcome regulatory barriers and seize a portion of a $1 trillion industry that might revolutionize the way we travel. Investors are seeking the Tesla of the flying vehicle sector, but it may take 10 to 15 years for the market to flourish. Aeroht’s prototype is a genuine automobile that can also be driven on the road, and its founder anticipates a price tag of around 1 million yuan ($140,000). At least a decade ago, entrepreneurs dreamed of democratizing the sky by pursuing eVTOLs, but the market became increasingly congested as investors hoped to bring a vision from comic books and science fiction to life.
By 2040, the eVTOL or urban air transportation market might be worth $1 trillion. Chinese companies such as Aeroht, Ehang Holdings Ltd., and TCab Tech have entered the eVTOL and flying vehicle industries, drawing inspiration from US brands such as Joby and Archer. They are banking on President Xi Jinping’s efforts to substitute US technology in sectors ranging from semiconductors to climate technologies. Joby wants to make flying taxis as affordable as yellow cabs, while Xpeng Aeroht is backed by some of the most prominent names in startup investment. Aeroht, a Shanghai-based eVTOL firm, has received $100 million from a European investor to create air taxis.
However, the technology is not yet completely evolved and the development of batteries with a better energy density is essential. Several eVTOL firms have begun to earn income and target enterprises, but more than a few hundred orders are required to drive a market. No nation has seriously considered opening its low-altitude airspace in the near future, but China has recently selected a number of provinces to explore the notion. Aeroht is collaborating with regulatory organizations in the nation to identify trial sites.
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