Lower than half a yr since revealing a flying automobile prototype, Chinese language electrical automobile start-up Xpeng unveiled a second mannequin on the Shanghai auto present in April 2021.
Evelyn Cheng | CNBC
GUANGZHOU, China — HT Aero, the flying automobile firm backed by Chinese language electrical carmaker Xpeng Inc. and its founder, raised greater than $500 million from outdoors buyers.
The cash will likely be put towards analysis and improvement and rolling out a brand new mannequin that has the flexibility to function within the air and on roads.
Zhao Deli, founder and president of HT Aero, mentioned in a press launch that the corporate’s next-generation mannequin will likely be a “absolutely built-in flying automobile and car, designed for each low-altitude air journey and highway driving.”
The corporate is planning for an official roll-out of the brand new automobile in 2024, Zhao mentioned. Nonetheless, he didn’t give a timeline for when the brand new automobile will likely be launched.
HT Aero is an affiliate firm of Xpeng, one among China’s electrical automobile start-ups. Xpeng’s founder He Xiaopeng in addition to the electrical automobile firm itself are buyers in HT Aero.
The brand new funding spherical was led by high-profile enterprise capital corporations IDG Capital and 5Y capital in addition to Xpeng. Different buyers embrace Sequoia China, Jap Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital.
Flying vehicles — additionally known as electrical vertical take-off and touchdown automobiles — have garnered plenty of curiosity from automakers and start-ups. Corporations together with South Korea’s Hyundai, German start-up Lilium, and China-based Ehang are creating flying passenger automobiles.
In July, HT Aero launched the X2, its second flying automobile prototype and first that is in a position to carry a passenger.
Xpeng’s founder He advised CNBC in an interview final month that flying automobiles will likely be part of the corporate’s future.
Nonetheless, such automobiles face a lot of hurdles to get off the bottom together with regulatory approval to function.