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World's First "Flying Taxi" Sold Online|EHang Vice President: It is Both Educational and Commercial

Release time:2024-04-06Popularity:117

On March 18th, the world’s first domestically developed autonomous aerial vehicle, the EHang EH216-S “air taxi,” which has received airworthiness certification, was listed for sale on Taobao’s industrial goods platform, priced at 2.39 million yuan.

In the afternoon of March 18th, NBD had an interview with He Tianxing, the vice president of EHang, via WeChat call. Regarding the global debut of the unmanned “air taxi” for online sales, He Tianxing stated: “Many people ask whether EHang is only focusing on the business sector. In fact, our ultimate goal is to provide a new low-altitude travel service for every ordinary citizen. By being on a national platform like Taobao, we hope to popularize the value of the future low-altitude economy to consumers. We want everyone to recognize and understand the future development and applications of unmanned aerial vehicles.”

On March 18th, EHang Intelligence’s stock closed 0.85% higher.

The number of followers of EHang corporate store has reached 10,400. Previously, the store listed two eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft), including the two seater EH216-S. This product received a model certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China in 2023, becoming the world’s first manned autonomous eVTOL to do so.

The store also listed the EHang VT-30, which is priced at 99.9999 million yuan. The VT-30 features a composite wing design, with a designed range of 300 kilometers and an endurance of 100 minutes. However, as of press time, the VT-30 product had been removed from the shelves.

He Tianxing stated, “In the past few years, EHang has delivered more than 200 orders. The online sale of the ‘air taxi’ on Taobao allows more people to understand and see (eVTOLs), and to grow fond of this new lifestyle. 

“Furthermore, we are currently the only manufacturer in the world to have obtained an airworthiness certificate for manned (eVTOL), qualifying our product for commercial operations. So, listing it on Taobao is both an educational and commercial activity. Other manufacturers have not yet ‘certified’ and cannot do so for the time being,” said He Tianxing.

Compared to helicopters, what are the advantages of eVTOL? He Tianxing believes they mainly include safety advantages, convenient takeoff and landing, eco-friendliness, and unmanned operation.

He Tianxing told NBD, “Firstly, our eVTOLs adopt a ‘multi-backup’ design philosophy for core critical components. During flight, if any component fails, the backups will restore flight. Backups include propellers, motors, flight controls, and batteries—all core components have backups. Secondly, traditional helicopters have a single rotor; if it fails, they lose power and fall. We have 16 propellers and 3 flight controls. 

Additionally, due to their smaller size, they are more convenient for takeoff and landing. In the future, they could operate from buildings and playgrounds. Moreover, eVTOLs can be charged using a 380V charging pile, which is more convenient than refueling helicopters.

Furthermore, traditional helicopters are noisy, while eVTOLs are electric and have smaller propellers. “It’s like an electric fan; smaller fans make less noise, larger fans make more,” He Tianxing explained.

“We need to be clear about one thing: it’s essential to reduce the pressure on the ground and fully exploit aerial resources. Of course, every technological approach has its advantages and disadvantages. By leveraging the product strengths of the EH216-S, we want to inform everyone that the era of low-altitude economy has arrived,”added He. 


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