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Flying cars: China is taking a lead in the sector, reveals report

Grace Eliza Goodwin   

Flying cars: China is taking a lead in the sector, reveals report
  • China is pulling ahead in the flying car industry.
  • Chinese regulators are fast-tracking approval for eVTOL vehicles.
China is leading the pack as the flying car industry tries to take off.

Chinese regulators are racing to approve eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles. These aircraft take off like helicopters but can also fly like planes at higher speeds.

Kellen Xie, the vice president of Chinese eVTOL company AutoFlight Group, told the Financial Times that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has been "quite supportive" of the growing industry.

Xie told FT that CAAC regulators "work longer hours" and "are determined to actually speed up the process of bringing this new technology into reality."

China became one step closer to that reality in March when the CAAC granted certification for AutoFlight's unmanned CaryAll aircraft, the first time regulators have approved an eVTOL over 1 metric ton for flight, FT reported.

AutoFlight is still awaiting regulatory approval in Europe, according to FT.

In the US, several smaller eVTOLS have already received the green light.

In July, the Federal Aviation Administration granted the first-ever US approval for Alef Aeronautics' Model A flying car, which can actually drive on city streets like a car, as well as pick up and take flight.

As of March, the company had already received more than 2,850 reservations to purchase the $300,000 vehicle, which is expected to hit the streets (and the skies) as early as the end of 2025.

A month later, California-based startup Aska became the second eVTOL company to earn FAA certification, but Aska's prototype is more like an aircraft than a car.

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