Thursday, April 22, 2021

Your Move Elon: Tesla Competitor in China Is All in On Flying Cars

I changed the Yahoo headline because they called Xpeng "Tesla's biggest rival in China..." and I'm not sure that will prove true in 2021. Both BYD and Geely are in the running to exceed Xpeng in shipments this year.

From Yahoo Finance, April 20:

While Tesla is laser focused on selling Chinese consumers more Model 3s, one of its chief rivals in the country Xpeng (XPEV) is already planning for a future of electric flying cars.

And not only planning for it, putting its money where its mind is at.

This week at the Shanghai Auto Show, Xpeng showed off its electric Heitech flying vehicle. It looks one part snowmobile, one part futuristic helicopter. The vehicle seats one person. 

Xpeng Vice Chairman and President Brian Gu tells Yahoo Finance Live the Heitech is not just a prototype cooked up to wow auto show audiences. Rather, Xpeng plans to produce the vehicle in the not too distant future. 

"So it's intended to be a flying car of the future. We have invested in a separate company that designs and makes flying devices. Now we actually aim to combine the technology of Xpeng with the flying device company to make flying cars. Our intention is to design a car that actually can drive on the road, but it can take off vertically and flying in low altitude scenarios below 100 meters. That's something we actually will try to reach commercial testing by the end of this year, and hopefully we will have something to show the public and allow the public to test drive sometime next year," Gu said.

Added Gu, "I think the initial applications of this flying car will be for hobbyists in certain limited settings. That will be made available towards the end of next year. We think the low altitude economy will be gradually opened by the government in certain municipalities. I see huge potential for that to be used commercially."....