By Chris Stonor
This week Volocopter showcased its eVTOL 2X, for the first time, at the Geely Technology Group booth during the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition 2021, reports a press release.
The two companies are highlighting their cooperation and aim to introduce urban air mobility (UAM) to the Chinese market and offer visitors the chance to learn more about this new form of aviation transport.
Since announcing Geely’s strategic investment in Volocopter in 2019, the companies have been using their combined expertise in mobility to identify where electric air taxi services could be best introduced in China.
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For being one of the pioneers of eVTOL air taxi technology, Volocopter “has paved the way for creating the ecosystem needed to provide electric air taxi services within cities around the world.” Together with Geely, Volocopter is starting the process of introducing these mobility services in China and creating a scalable model for production and operations.
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, commented, “Geely’s market leadership in China and forward-thinking approach to expanding mobility options make them a great strategic investor. They are an invaluable partner for bringing urban air mobility to China – one of the most promising markets for the UAM industry globally.”
Charlie Jing, CEO of Aerofugia, a subsidiary of Geely Technology Group, added, “Volocopter is the pioneer and leader of safe, sustainable, and practical eVTOL solutions for air taxi services in cities around the world. Together, we will have both the technology and means of production to launch urban air mobility ecosystems in Chinese cities.”
Volocopter 2X has nine exchangeable batteries powering 18 rotors. This design gives the system a high redundancy, ensuring that even if one or several rotors fail, the aircraft can land safely. Furthermore, the smaller rotor blades are a significant feature for “its low sound signature.” Flying at a height of 100 metres, the noise is difficult to hear within regular street noise levels.
In 2019, the Volocopter 2X successfully flew over Singapore’s Marina Bay and showed that a piloted eVTOL flying within air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned traffic management (UTM) was possible.
For the future services, Volocopter will be employing their fifth-generation aircraft, the VoloCity, which is currently in the certification process with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It has an increased speed of 110 km/h and longer flight duration of 35 minutes (after accounting for reserve battery and headwind).
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