China’s EHang Reports Largest Pre-Order Yet for Its Autonomous Air Taxi

Indonesia-based Prestige Aviation pre-orders 100 self-flying, two-seat EH216 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

China-based electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Ehang (NASDAQ: EH) has received the largest pre-order yet for its two-seat autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV), the EH216.  

EHang’s deal with Indonesia’s Prestige Aviation was announced during an online signing ceremony Monday at Jakarta’s Indonesia International Motor Show. 

The announcement comes a year after Prestige and EHang conducted a joint flight demonstration of the EH216 in Bali. EHang is targeting the EH216 for multiple roles, including the aerial sightseeing market.

“We hope to explore more possibilities to facilitate the implementation of UAM in Indonesia, and to seek breakthroughs in infrastructure, airworthiness certification, and other related fields,” said Bambang Soesatyo, chairman of the People’s Consultative Assembly Republic Indonesia, at the ceremony. 

An archipelago that includes thousands of islands, Indonesia is seeking “a new transportation mode that can facilitate inter-island mobility” which “will undoubtedly help regional economies to grow exponentially,” said Rudy Salim, executive chairman of Prestige Aviation.

EHang founder, chairman, and CEO Hu Huazhi said the company plans to “further accelerate the development of UAM [urban air mobility] in [the] Asia Pacific region with the aim to benefit the people with cutting-edge AAV technologies.” 

EHang says it expects to receive type certification in China for the EH216 later this year. [Courtesy: EHang]

About the Aircraft

The EH216 boasts a top speed of 130 km/h (70 knots), a payload capacity of 220 kg (485 lbs), and a range of 35 km (19 nm), according to EHang’s website. 

The Prestige pre-order comes two weeks after EHang said it was planning to win type certification in China for the EH216 by mid-2022. The company has said it expects the aircraft to enter service in China shortly afterward.

In addition to Indonesia, EHang has also partnered with aviation companies in Malaysia and Japan. The company says it has conducted more than 20,000 autonomous trial flights of its eVTOLs in 11 countries. 

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