Flying Cars Take Center Stage at CES 2024
Debuts from Supernal and Xpeng demonstrate that eVTOLs and flying cars are coming sooner than expected. EEPower covers the latest onsite from CES.
Flying cars have always been considered a symbol of the future. But what if flying cars were no longer promises of an abstract, distant future but something that could be a reality in the next five years?
XPeng showcased a flying car concept at CES 2024. Image used courtesy of Jake Hertz
That’s the promise a handful of companies made with their eVTOL and flying car demonstrations at CES this year. EEPower attended CES to see some of these eVTOL and flying car concepts firsthand.
XPeng’s Flying Land Aircraft Carrier
XPeng AeroHT, a Chinese company at the forefront of eVTOL technology, used CES 2024 to debut their upcoming "Land Aircraft Carrier.”
Scheduled for mass production in 2025, the Land Aircraft Carrier consists of two parts: a ground module and an air module. The ground module is a battery-electric vehicle for up to five passengers. This module has an extended-range electric powertrain and a three-axle, six-wheel configuration for enhanced all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering.
The XPeng Land Aircraft Carrier. Image used courtesy of XPeng
The eVTOL air module, on the other hand, is a fully-electric, piloted aircraft. It is capable of vertical takeoff and landing and low-altitude flights, adhering to stringent single-point failure safety standards. The aircraft supports manual and autonomous flight modes, featuring a 270-degree panoramic two-person cockpit, offering an expansive field of view for an unparalleled flying experience. Pre-orders start in the fourth quarter of 2024, with an anticipated price point of around $140,500.
The XPeng flying car concept. Image used courtesy of Jake Hertz
To further draw interest, XPeng’s CES exhibit featured a flying car concept consisting of a vehicle equipped with propellers. While more news is not known about this concept, it was definitely a hot attraction at CES this year.
Supernal’s eVTOL Innovation
Supernal, part of Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobility division, also used CES to showcase its latest eVTOL innovations.
Specifically, the company debuted its S-A2 product concept, the follow-up to its S-A1, which was introduced at CES 2020. The S-A2 is a V-tail aircraft designed to cruise 120 miles per hour at 1,500 feet, catering to typical city operational needs for 25- to 40-mile trips. It features a distributed electric propulsion architecture with eight all-tilting rotors, ensuring vertical lift and horizontal cruise efficiency.
The Supernal S-A2. Image used courtesy of Hyundai
Notably, at the time of its service entry, the S-A2 will operate at a noise level comparable to a dishwasher, maintaining 65 dB during vertical take-off and landing and 45 dB during horizontal cruising. The company plans to enter the aviation market by 2028.
Is the Future of Flying Cars Now?
Flying cars are often considered an unattainable symbol of the future, but CES 2024 might have turned that narrative on its head. With big debuts from both Supernal and XPeng, flying vehicles are not only achievable, but they may be available within the next five years (albeit at a high price).