Shanghai China auto present flying automobiles; Buffett-backed BYD stays clear

Lower than half a yr since revealing a flying automobile prototype, Chinese language electrical automobile start-up Xpeng unveiled a second mannequin on the Shanghai auto present in April 2021.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

SHANGHAI – Flying automobiles could have made headlines at this yr’s Shanghai Auto Present, however China’s BYD — which is backed by Warren Buffett — is sticking to floor automobiles for now.

This week, Chinese language electrical automobile start-up Xpeng debuted its second prototype for a flying automobile the corporate claims has already undergone eight years of improvement. The brand new mannequin resembles a flying automobile greater than the preliminary model revealed in Beijing in September, which seemed extra like a human-carrying drone.

Geely confirmed off a Volocopter electric-powered “air taxi” for the primary time in China on the Shanghai auto present in April 2021.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

Xpeng is not the one one seeking to the skies.

Corporations together with Hyundai, German start-up Lilium, and China-based Ehang are creating flying automobiles that may carry people.

Hangzhou, China-based Geely, which owns Volvo, confirmed off in Shanghai an “air taxi” developed by its three way partnership companion Volocopter.

‘We’re extra targeted on street transportation’

One of many firms’ promoting factors for flying automobiles is the nation’s rising city road visitors. Nevertheless, whereas the extent of client demand stays unclear, regulation has prevented wider use of flying automobiles.

However there are various methods to repair the issue of road congestion, stated Li Yunfei, a spokesperson for BYD, in feedback that CNBC translated from Mandarin. “Proper now,” he stated, “we’re extra targeted on street transportation.”

Li stated the flying fashions aren’t all that completely different from helicopters.

Backed by investing guru Buffett, BYD bought greater than 100,000 automobiles within the first quarter, greater than half of which have been new power automobiles, a class which incorporates pure electrical and hybrid automobiles.

The corporate introduced on the auto present a brand new model of its electrical automobile working system that comes with its internally developed “Blade” battery. BYD plans to promote this battery system to third-party automakers and already counts state-owned high-end Chinese language automobile maker Hongqi as buyer for the Blade battery, Li stated.

Consumers of BYD’s luxurious Han electrical automobile can customise the inside, as proven on this mannequin displayed on the auto present in Shanghai in April 2021.

Evelyn Cheng | CNBC

Final summer time, BYD’s luxurious Han sedan grew to become the corporate’s first automobile to make use of the Blade battery. The automobile has turn out to be one of the crucial in style within the new power class, rating third in gross sales nationwide through the first quarter. Solely the Hongguang Mini EV and Tesla‘s Mannequin 3 outsold it, in keeping with the China Passenger Automotive Affiliation’s gross sales rankings.

Li stated 70% of Han automobiles bought are pure-electric battery-powered fashions. Starting this month, BYD stated it plans to make use of the “Blade” battery in all of its pure-electric automobiles.

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