In the world of electric VTOL air taxi development, EHang is one of the earliest to try to commercialize drones that are transformed into personal vehicles. The Chinese drone manufacturer has announced its intention to build the world’s first E-port for AAV services in the City of Hezhou in Guangxi Province, China, by the end of the year.
For this, the company will work with a local partner in the City of Hezhou, to build the E-port, which will accelerate the commercialization of EHang AAVs in the tourism industry.
The three-storey building will have an area of 2,500 square meters that include a first-floor reception hall, second-floor passenger waiting area, and a third-floor departure/arrival zone. Four landing pads will be located on the roof-top, which can accommodate the landing/take-off of four AAVs simultaneously.
The company plans to deliver 20 units of the EHang 216, its two-seat passenger-grade AAV, which will be deployed for aerial sightseeing. With the use of Ehang 216, the number of tourists to Hezhou is expected to increase as it becomes one of the unique attractions.
The EHang 216 drone is powered by 16 electric motors via 16 propellers. It can carry a payload of 260 kg and reaches a speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) with a maximum flight time of 21 minutes, while the maximum flight range is between 30–40 km (16–22 miles). The drone can be charged via 220V or 380V systems and takes at least one hour.
“Hezhou is a beautiful city with rich tourism resources, and we are excited to enhance their appeal with our AAVs. As we progress, we intend to create more commercial applications for EHang AAVs, such as aerial sightseeing, that can uniquely merge modern culture and tourism. We also welcome more local partners to join us and embrace the opportunity to provide a safe, autonomous, and green approach to travel and sightseeing,” said Mr. Hu Huazhi, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of EHang.
The new building is to be commissioned by the end of 2020 and will mainly be used by tourists for sightseeing flight above the city.