The Chinese Xpeng takes off its flying car in Dubai and imagines the mobility of the future

The Paris Motor Show, back in Paris after four years of absence, gave pride of place to electric cars and in particular to Chinese brands which will soon be arriving in Europe. But if the electric seems to define the car of tomorrow, others are already imagining new modes of travel such as the flying car.

The concept has been a dream for a long time and has fueled the imagination of many films like Fantomas or James Bond. And yet, the idea of ​​having a vehicle that flies for daily travel has made its way to the point of becoming a reality with certain prototypes. In Dubai, the 42nd edition of Gitex Global was held at the beginning of the month, a show that invites people to imagine the city of tomorrow, the smart city, an intelligent city that wants to be more ecological and sustainable, but also that wants to make life easier for its inhabitants.

The show held the first low-altitude public flight of Xpeng company’s eVTOL flying car X2. While this company, born in Canton in 2014, has already developed a range of five long-range electric vehicles, it has also made its research and development department work on new forms of mobility. Results: a strange device, the X2 which reminds us of a drone with its eight propellers. Two-seater with a maximum take-off weight of 760 kg with a maximum flight speed of 130 km per hour, this eVTOL flying car X2 is made from carbon fiber materials and equipped with a parachute. It offers 35 minutes of flight in manual or autonomous mode, which may seem modest but sufficient for transfers between an airport and a city center or within a large event. Electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) the X2 emits no carbon dioxide.

Taxi drones at the Paris Olympics in 2024?

The maiden flight in front of some 150 guests was followed by a presentation of the X2 and the future of mobility by Xpeng President Brian Gu, who said “the [premier] flight is a major step in the exploration of future mobility by Xpeng.” The company is also considering designing other models of flying cars. An area where competition is fierce. Airbus, for example, is developing a CityAirbus NextGen, a more imposing 4-seater with 80 km of flight range.Boeing, Toyota and Hyundai are also working on devices of this type which could be used during the Paris Olympics in 2024. Aéroports de Paris, RATP and the Ile- de-France are, in fact, floor about thirty companies, including start-ups, but also Airbus, Safran, Boeing and Thalès.


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