EHang air mobility mkt prospects taking flight_Top News

  EHang Holdings Ltd, a Chinese urban air mobility (UAM) technology company, is ramping up efforts to bolster commercial operation of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) in aerial sightseeing, tourism and logistics, as part of a broader push to expand its footprint in the emerging low-altitude economy sector.

  The company recently announced its certified EH216-S pilotless passenger-carrying aerial vehicles have successfully completed maiden commercial flight demonstrations in both Guangzhou, Guangdong province and Hefei, Anhui province. The move marks another major milestone toward normalizing EH216-S flights for airborne sightseeing at local scenic spots.

  The first EH216-S pilotless passenger-carrying aerial vehicle has been delivered to an intelligent aviation technology company in Guangzhou and was first deployed at an operating site in Jiulong Lake Park.

  More operating venues and flight routes for aerial sightseeing and logistics are under development in Huangpu district, Guangzhou, EHang said.

  In addition, Guangzhou Development District Communications Investment Group Co Ltd and Guangzhou Industrial Investment Capital announced they would jointly establish Guangzhou Development District Low-altitude Industry Venture Capital Fund with a target size of some 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion).

  The Hefei demonstration was conducted in Luogang Central Park, which covers a total area of 12.7 square kilometers, and has been designated by the Hefei municipal government as an eVTOL aircraft operating site. The local authority plans to collaborate with EHang to expand aerial sightseeing flight routes and services to more scenic spots in Hefei.

  The low-altitude economy, which was emphasized as one of the strategic emerging industries during the annual tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference held in December, has gained strong support from many local governments across the nation. It has been recognized as a promising sector with strong potential to become a new engine for bolstering the country”s economic growth.

  Guangzhou, Hefei and Guangdong”s Shenzhen have rolled out favorable policies, such as providing subsidies and incentives, to boost development of the low-altitude economy and build up related industrial clusters.

  Yang Sumei, an associate professor at Guangzhou Maritime University, said the low-altitude economy serves as an important driving force for cultivating new productivity boosters, and has huge market potential.

  Yang said more efforts should be made to establish applicable rules and standards to better regulate the fast-developing sector, as well as accelerate construction of low-altitude infrastructure, intelligent management and operating platforms.

  According to a white paper released by the International Digital Economy Academy, the comprehensive contribution of the low-altitude economy to China”s overall economy will reach between 3 trillion yuan and 5 trillion yuan by 2025.

  EHang has also launched the nation”s first UAM operation demonstration center in Bao”an district, Shenzhen. Covering approximately 4,600 square meters, the center hosts a heliport for EHang”s pilotless passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft EH216-S, hangars, a command-and-control center, a passenger waiting area, a service center and other essential amenities.

  Yu Zhanfu, a partner at Roland Berger, said eVTOLs need to undergo full verification regarding safety and technological stability in sparsely populated areas or scenarios, such as natural landscape tourist destinations in the early stages, before they can truly enter the urban air mobility segment.

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