EHang has delivered five of its EH216-S autonomous aerial vehicles to a new customer, Shenzhen Boling Holding Group, which plans to use the two-seat aircraft for sightseeing tours in the vast city of Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong province.
Boling has provisionally agreed to purchase up to 100 of EHang’s vehicles to use for aerial tourism and sightseeing operations, EHang announced Friday. Boling’s subsequent purchase of an additional 95 units is contingent on EHang’s receipt of a type certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), as well as some other unspecified terms, such as the timeline for deliveries, EHang said.
Last month, EHang reported that it expects to receive that type certificate soon, having completed all the required testing. The Chinese company appears to be on track to have the world’s first eVTOL aircraft certified for commercial operations, as its Western counterparts likely won’t have their aircraft certified until late 2024 at the earliest. “As the type certification of EH216-S is close to completion, our preparations for post-certification operations are in full swing,” said EHang chief operating officer Xin Fang.
According to EHang, the delivery of the first five aircraft to Boling represents a critical first step toward the aircraft manufacturer’s goal of launching an aerial tourism operation in Shenzhen as part of its broader plans for an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem. The company has been working closely with the government of Shenzhen’s Bao’an district to turn the area into a hub for UAM services.
“Shenzhen Bao’an District, with its unique industrial ecosystem and conducive conditions for developing the low-altitude economy, is an ideal region for deploying commercial EH216-S operations,” Fang said.
This summer, EHang and Bao’an officials signed a memorandum of understanding in which they pledged to jointly develop commercial urban air mobility services in Shenzhen. As…