Chinese language electrical car maker Xpeng’s flying automobile firm raises over $ 500 million


Less than half a year since the launch of a flying vehicle prototype, the Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng presented a second model at the Shanghai auto show in April 2021.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

GUANGZHOU, China – HT Aero, the flying car company backed by Chinese electric car maker Xpeng Inc. and its founder, raised more than $ 500 million from outside investors.

The money will be used for research and development as well as for the launch of a new model that can be used in the air and on the road.

Zhao Deli, founder and president of HT Aero, said in a press release that the company’s next generation model will be “a fully integrated aircraft and automobile designed for both low altitude and road travel”.

The company plans to officially launch the new vehicle in 2024, Zhao said. However, he did not give a schedule for the market launch of the new vehicle.

HT Aero is a subsidiary of Xpeng, one of the Chinese electric vehicle start-ups. Xpeng founder He Xiaopeng and the electric car company itself are investors in HT Aero.

The new financing round was led by the renowned venture capital firms IDG Capital and 5Y Capital as well as Xpeng. Other investors are Sequoia China, Eastern Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital.

Flying cars – also called electric vertical take-offs and landing vehicles – have aroused great interest among automakers and start-ups. Companies like Hyundai from South Korea, the German start-up Lilium and the China-based Ehang develop flying passenger vehicles.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

In July, HT Aero launched the X2, its second flying car prototype and the first that can carry a passenger.

Xpeng founder He told CNBC in an interview last month that flying vehicles will be a part of the company’s future.

Still, such vehicles face a number of hurdles to get started, including regulatory approval to operate.