Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Indian startup develops e-flying taxi for 10 times faster commute

The number of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) designs flooding the industry gave us a clue about the remarkable growth of AAM (advanced air mobility). Most eVTOLs are praised for their green propulsion technology, coupled with top performance.

In a similar effort, an Indian startup ePlane has developed an electric flying taxi that is claimed to ferry passengers faster than a helicopter. The startup showcased a prototype aircraft during the Aero India show in Bengaluru this week. It is India’s first and the world’s most compact electric flying taxi.

Incubated out of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, the ePlane company was founded by Prof. Satya Chakravarthy along with one of his students, Pranjal Mehta, with a vision to make electric aircrafts a reality. So far, the company has raised around $1 million to develop the model.

The flying taxi, called the e200, is a two-seat, all-electric eVTOL aircraft designed to make urban travel quicker and hassle-free. The company claims that their electric flying taxi for urban commute can carry people to their destination 10 times faster and, at the same time, is safer, economical, noise-free, and eco-friendly.

The flying taxi weighs around 200 kg and comes equipped with four ducted fans as its propellers. It can fly at around 0.5 km to 2 km altitude at a speed of around 200 km/h (124 mph). The company says it aims for the ability to make around 10 to 15 short trips, covering a total distance of nearly 200 km (124 miles) on a single charge of its batteries.

In addition, the air taxi does not need too much space to land or take off and occupies just 25 square meters of area for parking. There is not much information about its size, charging details, and other specifications. Currently, the flying taxi requires a pilot to operate, but the startup intends to offer autonomous technology in the future.

ePlane believes its aircraft will prove to be competitive in markets well beyond India. India’s heavily congested cities would appear to be well suited to benefit from eVTOL air taxi services.