China’s GAC Unveils the GOVE: A Hybrid of Drone and Car
On 26 June, the world witnessed a leap into the future when the Chinese automotive giant, GAC, pulled the curtains off its latest innovation: the GOVE. This isn’t just another electric vehicle; it’s a harmonious blend of drone and car.
Understanding the GOVE
GOVE, an acronym for “GAC on-the-go, vertical flight, electric vehicle”, is essentially an electric vehicle that possesses the ability to soar vertically, much like a drone. This single-seat marvel is equipped with six rotors and is powered by GAC’s proprietary “ADiGO” autopilot system during flight.
The Dual Nature of GOVE
Imagine driving to a location, and instead of parking, your car’s upper part detaches and flies off. That’s the GOVE for you. The base, which is electrically powered, serves as a mobile pedestal for shorter commutes or as a launch pad for the drone. Once the drone component lands back on its pedestal, the entire structure functions like any other electric car. However, it does come with the quirks of being a single-seater with foldable rotors.
One of the standout features is the car’s ability to be remotely controlled. Picture this: while the drone is airborne, the car segment can autonomously drive itself to a charging station. GAC’s vision isn’t just about individual ownership; they envision a shared mobility future where users can share these vehicles.
GAC has hinted that it might be a while before the GOVE hits the market. However, they’ve already teased their vision of future transportation in a YouTube video, giving viewers a taste of what’s to come.
Alef’s Model A: Pioneering the Flying Electric Car Segment
While GAC is making waves in China, on the other side of the world, US startup Alef is gearing up to revolutionize urban mobility. Their flagship, the Model A, isn’t just a concept; it’s a reality, having secured the coveted approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A Journey from 2016 to the Skies
The Model A’s journey began in 2016, and since then, it has garnered significant attention and investment. Notably, venture capitalist Tim Draper, known for his early support of Tesla, has poured around $3 million into this ambitious project through his Fund V equity fund.
Boasting a road range of 320 kilometres and an aerial range of 177 kilometres, the Model A is a testament to Alef’s engineering prowess. For those looking to be early adopters, the vehicle comes with a hefty price tag of $300,000. Despite the cost, Alef has reported an impressive 440 pre-orders by the end of 2023. Production is slated to commence in late 2025, with deliveries following shortly after.
Stellantis and Archer: Crafting the Future of eVTOL Aircrafts
The flying car industry isn’t just limited to cars. Stellantis, in collaboration with Archer, is on a mission to produce eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft on a grand scale. Their flagship, the Midnight eVTOL aircraft, is designed to carry a substantial payload of 453 kilograms, accommodating four passengers and a pilot. With a range of 160 kilometres on a single charge, the Midnight is set to redefine short-distance air travel.
Production is on track to begin in 2024, with the commercial launch of the Midnight scheduled for 2025.
The transportation landscape is on the cusp of a radical transformation. From drones that double as cars to electric vehicles that can take to the skies, the future promises a blend of innovation, sustainability, and efficiency. While challenges remain, especially in terms of infrastructure and regulations, the strides being made by companies like GAC, Alef, and Stellantis signal a bright future for urban mobility.
Advice: For potential buyers, it’s essential to consider the evolving regulations, infrastructure needs, and the initial high costs associated with these vehicles. However, the promise of reduced traffic congestion, faster commutes, and a novel travel experience might just make it worth the investment.