Chinese flying car Xpeng X2 performed its first-ever global public flight over the cityscape of Dubai. More than 150 people attended the event, on October 11, 2022, in Skydive Dubai.
The 90-minute test flight provided a sneak peek into the future of intra-city travel. X2 successfully passed the public flight test, marking what the organizers believed was ‘an exciting new era of short-haul flights and intelligent mobility solutions.’
The innovative “flying car” created by Chinese electronic vehicle manufacturer Xpeng Inc (9868. HK) made its first public flight in the United Arab Emirates, as the company aims to introduce electric aircraft vehicles to global markets. This demonstration was held without a driver with an empty cockpit.
Xpeng X2 is the new fifth-generation ‘flying car’ developed by the Chinese firm Xpeng Inc. Previously developed prototypes – T1 and X1 from 2019 and 2020 have been improved significantly to develop the new model. Unlike airplanes and helicopters, eVTOL, or “electric vertical takeoff and landing” vehicles offer quick point-to-point personal travel, at least in principle.
The latest generation X2 emits zero carbon dioxide and is designed to deliver maximum distance at a top speed of 130 km (80 miles) per hour with low-altitude city capabilities. The company claims that the enclosed cockpit, tear-shaped design, and futuristic appearance helps the electric flying car’s aerodynamics and maximize performance. Electric Vehicles contribute to the global initiative to eliminate internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in favor of more environmentally friendly urban transportation to reduce carbon emissions.
Range and Performance
A two-seater vehicle is driven by eight propellers, two of which are located in each corner of the craft. The autonomous two-seater electric ‘flying car’ has 760kg of maximum take-off weight and 560kg of empty weight. It has a 35-minute flight time and is constructed of superior carbon fiber material with an airframe parachute.
Low-altitude and short-distance city commutes, such as for tourist and medical transportation are ideal. But the sector still faces major challenges, including battery life, air traffic control and safety, and infrastructure issues.
Xpeng X2 Specs:
- Aircraft type: eVTOL multi-copter
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Maximum speed: 130 kp/h (81 mph)
- Flight Time: 35 minutes
- Cruise altitude: 300-500 m (984-1,640 ft)
- Empty weight: 360 kg (794 lb)
- Maximum takeoff weight: 560 kg (1,235 lb)
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Canopy over the cockpit
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing
Xpeng X2 Price
The price range for the Voyager X2 is expected to be in the range of $126,000.00 – $236,000.00
“We are making step-by-step (moves) to the international market,” said Minguan Qiu, general manager of Xpeng Aeroht. “First we selected Dubai city because Dubai is the most innovative city in the world.”
Xpeng Motors and Dubai International Chamber of Commerce
Xpeng Motors, a major Chinese all-electric car, and technology firm founded in 2014 by He Xiaopeng, Henry Xia, and He Tao, creates intelligent vehicles that are seamlessly connected to the Internet and use the most recent developments in artificial intelligence.
The company has started producing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). The manufacturing mindset is based on quality, ongoing improvement, adaptability, and great operational efficiency. The objective of the company is to create intelligent electric vehicles using technology, and data and to influence the future of consumer mobility.
Brian Gu, Vice Chairman, and President commented that the company and the development of electric flying cars worldwide have reached a significant milestone with the public demonstration.‘Dubai is a world-renowned City of Innovation, which is the reason we decided to hold the X2 first public event here,’ he adds.
The Chamber has been deeply involved in the whole process since the launch of the project, providing strategic consulting to the mobility company. Acting President and CEO Hassan Al Hashemi commented that ‘the first global public test of the flying car in Dubai will change the game of future mobility. It is the epitome of ambition, innovation, and a future-oriented vision that has always inspired Dubai and its leadership.
Future of Travel and Public Transport
Equipped with an intelligent flight control system and autonomous capabilities were showcased on the sidelines of the Gitex Global 2022. To witness this historic moment, Li Xuhang, Consul-General of China in Dubai; Hassan Al Hashemi, Acting President and CEO of Dubai Chambers; Dr. Brian Gu, Vice Chairman and President of XPeng; Mohammad Al Kamali, Deputy CEO, of Dubai Industries and Exports; including the local and international press, were present.
The unmanned, 90-minute test flight in Dubai was described by its manufacturer as an “important base for the next generation of flying cars.” The invention is manufactured by Chinese company Xpeng’s affiliate XPENG AEROHT is the largest flying car company in Asia. The company believes that what once was imagination can soon become a reality.
Omar Abdulaziz AlKhan, executive director for international offices at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “This flying car is a luxury item and a lot of high net-worth individuals are looking for technology and such luxurious product. Dubai is the place where we have customers”.
Commenting on when the flying cars will be available for commercial use, he said: “It depends on how fast we can adapt the framework of urban commercialized flying. There will be more tests happening in Dubai, and then it will be commercialized,” he added that in his personal opinion.
“The city has become a magnet and testbed for companies from around the world that bring cutting-edge technologies to the market that support the emirate’s innovation strategy. The decision to debut the X2 flying car is a testament to our position as a global innovation leader and hub for future technology,” said Hassan Al Hashemi.
Al Kamali stated that the government is dedicated to assisting businesses that select Dubai as their center. Opportunities abound in UAE, and they are ready to collaborate with numerous groups and organizations to make things go smoothly.
The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, earlier attended the first concept flight of the Autonomous Air Taxi that will be utilized for the emirate’s proposed first self-flying taxi service.
In light of the efforts of the Dubai International Chamber and its China office since 2021 to lure top multinational corporations (MNCs) to the emirate, the city was chosen as the location for the test. This highlights the city’s leading position as a location for future breakthroughs and a center for top multinational corporations to introduce their newest technology in the city.
The test flight offered a glimpse into the future of technology that could one day let people avoid city traffic. The manufacturing company disclosed that its goal is to commercialize the cars which it aims to start in the next 3 years.
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