Close this search box.

China authorises mass production of world’s first flying taxi

Share this article

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has authorised the mass production of the world’s first certified eVTOL taxi.

The EH216-S can cruise at 100 kph at an altitude of 3,000 metres, with a range of 35 kms. 

Domestically produced by EHang Holdings Limited, the EH216-S received the first Production Certificate for a pilotless aircraft, which means that the manufacturer’s mass production quality management system complies with the CAAC’s airworthiness regulations. 

“Scenes from science fiction movies will officially step into the public eye,” an EHang spokesperson told Zag Daily.

This comes after the autonomous two-passenger aircraft got the go-ahead from China last year to begin trialling air-taxi operations.

“At EHang we have chosen to embrace autonomous flying where our EH216-S operates alongside pre-determined flight routes enabled by our command-and-control system platform to ensure safety and efficiency, especially when operating at a large scale,” said the spokesperson.

“This approach significantly reduces the risks of accidents caused by human errors.”

The aircraft will serve various purposes including aerial sightseeing, logistics, emergency services, as well as acting as an airport shuttle and intra-city taxi.

Having secured pre-orders for more than 1,200 units, EHang is currently preparing for commercial operations through operator training and the development of operation systems.

“We’re continuing to strengthen collaboration with the CAAC to establish the world’s first regulatory system standards for eVTOL commercial operations in the second quarter of this year.”

This year will also see EHang coordinate with multiple governments to complete the construction of eVTOL vertiports and launch commercial operation ceremonies.

China’s low-altitude economy

According to the CAAC, China’s low-altitude economy was estimated at more than 500 billion yuan ($70 billion) at the end of 2023, and is expected to rise to two trillion yuan ($276 billion) by 2030.

“Right now China is investing heavily in the so-called low-altitude economy where the urban air mobility and pilotless eVTOLs will play an important role.”

EHang said 20 provinces across the country have prioritised the development of the low-altitude economy in 2024. This promotion has led to the implementation of favourable policies and regulations, infrastructure support, funding and subsidies, and suitable sites for eVTOL operations.

Share this article

Photography by