Alef's Intriguing Flying/Driving Car
Alef's Model A Is Big Competition for XPeng's X3
Source: Alef Aeronautics
The Future of Flying Cars is Fast Approaching
California-based flying car company Alef Aeronautics has unveiled its 2-passenger flying car Model A. The all-electric driving and flying car is going on pre-sale in early 2023 for a $1500 deposit. It's priced at $300,000 for delivery in late 2025. The company claims that the vehicle will be the only road-certified flying car that can do vertical takeoffs and landings like a helicopter and also drive on the road. That puts Model A in direct competition with China-based XPeng's X3 flying car. The X3 handles like a normal car on the road and easily transitions to an eVTOL for vertical takeoffs, landings and flight. As I reported yesterday, the X3 has just successfully completed a full flight test in Beijing. XPeng is making the same "world first" claims for X3 as Alef is making for Model A. It appears that the future of flying cars is fast approaching and that we have 2 hot prototypes vying for first place.
Alef's Model A was styled by a Bugatti and Jaguar designer and has a very retro-futuristic design. Bottomline: it is an eye-catching, flashy vehicle. The EV has been undergoing test flights since 2019. Alef is targeting urban and rural commuters whose travel distance is within 30 miles. The company calls Model A "the fastest and most convenient transport ever created for rural and urban settings". Model A's wings are retractable so there is no need to operate it from an airport. It's been structured like a biplane.
More Tech Details
Model A has a distributed electric propulsion system. Eight motors are built into the wheels for redundancy in the event of engine failure. The range is 200 miles on the road and 110 miles in the air on a fully charged battery. Its technologies include obstacle detection and avoidance systems, software flight stabilization, all-wheel drive and a full vehicle parachute. By 2030, Alef expects to build a $35,000 version called Model Z with a flight range of 200 miles and a driving range of 400 miles. Such a vehicle at that price would be very impressive.