EV startups could play a big role in making flying cars a reality. Flying cars have long been a fantasy of mankind, and Chinese electric car manufacturer XPeng wants to make these dreams a reality.
XPeng Motors announced on Tuesday morning that the EV maker has invested in HT Aero, a Chinese urban air mobility company. Founded in 2013, HT Aero is a company that designs flying cars. HT Aero already has prototypes. The two-seater HT Aero X2 was on display to the public at the 2021 Airshow China in Zhuhai at the end of September.
An electric car manufacturer and a VTOL manufacturer may seem like an alien combination at first. However, the X2 is electrically powered, which would allow it to use the charging technology developed by XPeng. There are also overlaps with autonomous driving technologies, and autonomous platforms will certainly be needed in vehicles of this kind. There is also an overlap in management between XPeng and HT Aero, with HT Aero being partly led by XPeng founder He Xiaopeng.
“Our mission has always been to seek efficient, safe, carbon-neutral mobility solutions that go beyond smart electric cars. Three important motives are to combine innovative technology, renewable energy and mass production. We will take advantage of this opportunity, unprecedented in the history of modern transport,” says the company’s press release.
The XPeng idea may not be as crazy as it first seems. In early October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was asked about his plans for electric planes. Musk said that the idea had been on his mind for years, but for now Tesla had a lot of other things to deal with. Tesla plans to open two new plants in the coming months and could start delivering the new Cybertruck later this year.
The investment is unlikely to have a big impact on XPeng shares in the short term. No concrete ideas are yet available on where, how and when the flying cars would be launched. XPeng is only up 0.89 percent this year, but has performed well recently, with the share price up 39.75 percent in the past six months.