by Chris Stonor
Volocopter and Geely announced today, the companies are jointly showcasing a full-size 2X eVTOL at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition between April 21st and 28th, within Geely’s booth, reports a press release. The companies are highlighting their collaboration and aim to introduce Urban Air Mobility to the Chinese market by offering visitors an opportunity to learn more about this new form of transport.
As a pioneer of (eVTOL) taxi technology, Volocopter has paved the way for creating an ecosystem required to provide electric air taxi services within cities around the world. Since announcing Geely’s strategic investment in Volocopter back in 2019, the company is beginning the process of introducing these services in China and creating a scalable model for production and operations. The companies have been using their combined experience in mobility to identify where electric air taxi services could be best received in China.
Geely Booth at Shanghai Auto Exhibition, 2019
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter, said, “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, added, “Volocopter and Geely have agreed on a joint venture to make UAM services in China a reality and already applied for a business license. Public awareness is one of the key factors to successfully introduce this new mobility concept.”
He continued, “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 in Chinese cities.”
The eVTOL has nine exchangeable batteries powering 18 rotors. This design gives the system a remarkably 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 a low sound signature even when flying at a height of 100m.
For future services, Volocopter will be using their fifth-generation aircraft, the VoloCity, which is currently in the certification process with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It will have 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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