27-Sep-2021 Source: Volocopter
Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), and Aerofugia, a subsidiary of China’s innovation-driven group, Geely Technology Group, announced the finalization of their joint venture (JV) company to introduce UAM in China. Operating under Volocopter (Chengdu) Technology Co., LTD (Volocopter Chengdu), the JV has signed an agreement to purchase 150 Volocopter aircraft. Geely Holding Group’s CEO, Daniel Li Donghui, has joined Volocopter’s Advisory Board.
The JV, headquartered in Chengdu, will work closely with the aviation, transportation, and government agencies in Chengdu and other parts of mainland China to bring urban air mobility to China within the next three to five years. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province and a significant economic, cultural, and transportation hub in Western China. It is also a key manufacturing base for Geely – one of many great synergies the JV will profit from on top of Geely’s production capability and industrial distribution expertise.
At the opening ceremony, Volocopter also signed a Contract Manufacturing Agreement with Volocopter Chengdu and General Aviation Manufactory Base of Geely Technology to produce Volocopter’s aircraft and parts in China. This production agreement will strategically satisfy the fast-growing demand for air taxi services after commercial launch in China.
UAM refers to a new mode of urban transportation that uses electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to move people or goods within lower urban and suburban airspaces. It helps relieve the strain on increasingly congested city roads and allows people and goods to reach their destinations faster and safely. As the first and only eVTOL company globally to obtain Design Organisation Approval from European Union Aviation Safety Agency in 2019 and subsequently secure Production Organisation Approval in 2021, Volocopter has been leading in the UAM industry, with its family of aircraft for passengers (VoloCity and VoloConnect), and goods (VoloDrone).
In April 2021, Geely and Volocopter confirmed that they would form a joint venture to introduce the new mode of transportation to China. Both companies will jointly participate in the Zhuhai Airshow at Hall 3 from 28 September to 3 October.