Flying or driving - you can do it all in this.
Like it or not, China is making some pretty impressive cars these days. Luxury SUVs, hybrids, EVs - China does it all, and now it seems that it could bring flying cars to market before anyone else. Hyundai, one of the automakers that diversifies more than almost anyone, has said that it thinks we could see flying cars become a reality before the end of the decade, but Chinese company Xpeng is trying to bring the tech to reality even sooner. The company used October 24, a sort of unofficial tech day across the country, to reveal a flying car to be released under its HT Aero subsidiary.
HT Aero focuses exclusively on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and has thus far completed over 15,000 test flights in various flying drone and car prototypes. The latest prototype is the one you see in the above images. As yet, it remains unnamed, but Xpeng isn't worried about that. In fact, it's so confident in its flying car that the company says production will begin in 2024. The electric vehicle boasts similar proportions to a regular car but with folding rotors that can hide in the car's bodywork for when you're on the ground. It seems very exciting, but there are some obvious drawbacks.
For a start, those rotors look heavy, something that won't do an EV any favors when it comes to range. Even if those rotors are made of a lightweight material like carbon fiber, the problem then becomes cost, but who really expects the first flying cars (whenever they do arrive) to be cheap? Whatever the case, it seems that Tesla is being beaten to the punch again. In case you don't recall what we're talking about, Elon Musk said back in 2019 that his Tesla Roadster would be able to fly. We still haven't seen any evidence to support this claim, but whoever gets their first is certainly going to draw a lot of attention. Let's hope that legislation and safety protocols will advance as quickly as the technology does.