Advanced Air Mobility

Volkswagen Group China Unveiled the V.MO – an eVTOL Manned Aerial Vehicle Prototype

Volkswagen Group China Unveiled the V.MO – an eVTOL Manned Aerial Vehicle Prototype

On July 27, Volkswagen Group China (VW China) unveiled its V.MO prototype, the first electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) manned vehicle, to further explore and pioneer fully electric and sustainable individual mobility. The prototype is currently based on existing autopilot solutions and battery technology. With a luxury X-wing configuration with a wing length of 11.2m and a wing width of 10.6m, the prototype is characterized by eight rotors for vertical lift and two propellers for horizontal flight and will be further optimized in the second half of this year to pass several rounds of flight tests. The improved prototype will undergo advanced test flights by late summer 2023.

The current fully electric and autonomous eVTOL passenger aircraft will eventually fly up to 200 kilometers with four passengers and luggage. To commemorate its launch in the Chinese Lunar Year of the Tiger, the prototype has been designed in a unique black and gold color scheme, nicknamed “Flying Tiger”.

A Morgan Stanley research report expects the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market could reach a trillion-dollar market size by 2040, with China accounting for about a quarter of the market share.

Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of VW China, said the Group adheres to the development concept of “in China, for China”, and is committed to developing high-end mobility products to meet Chinese customers’ needs for innovative technology and future air mobility services. Also, they are currently cooperating closely with local Chinese enterprises such as Hunan Shanhe Technology.

With the increased attention in the UAM field, eVTOL is a very new and vibrant high-tech track. It is indeed a milestone development for a traditional car manufacturer to enter the manned eVTOL field. At present, XPeng, Geely and Volkswagen are companies entering the field of eVTOL in China. According to a Chinese recruitment website, GAC Group is recruiting engineers like aircraft engineers though making no official response to the public about whether it is entering the field. GAC Group may also become the first traditional state-owned enterprise in China to arrange flying cars. Compared with the traditional ground transportation mode, eVTOL is the solution to the future of urban transportation aircraft, providing faster and more efficient travel. It is believed that with the entry of more and more enterprises, eVTOL can better promote the development of China’s UAM field.