Key Highlights

  • First in series of electric flying cars introduced by Xpeng at Beijing Auto Show
  • Vehicle has eight propellers and capsule-like frame

Move over Elon Musk. Xpeng, a Chinese electric car start-up backed by Alibaba, is developing a series of electric flying cars. The first in this series of electric flying cars was just introduced at the Beijing Auto Show.

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This vehicle actually looks more like a human-carrying drone or a huge spider than a flying car with its eight propellers and capsule-like frame. Xpeng Heitech, a tech unit majority-owned by Xpeng, and CEO He Xiaopeng developed the prototype for this flying car. The company is backed by one of China’s behemoths (similar to Amazon), Alibaba.

 The flying vehicle can hold two passengers and flies at low altitudes from 16.4 feet to 82 feet. According to Brian Gu, vice chairman and president of Xpeng, “This is a long-range R&D exploration for us to really think about mobility in a greater context. We think in the future not only electric vehicles will have the smart mobility autonomous driving features, but with other technology, enable other devices that can create a multi-dimensional ecosystem, that will be very exciting.”

Before committing to additional substantial investment to further develop this flying vehicle, Xpeng is exploring options to mitigate regulation hurdles that the company believes is slowing the evolution of human-carrying drones and self-driving cars.

Thanks to CNBC.

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