It’s the first electric vehicle that can fly and travel on roads
A California startup called Alef Automotive has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to test its new car. But it’s not just any car, it’s the first electric vehicle that can fly and travel on roads.
The vehicle, known as the “Model A,” has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities and can be driven on public roads and parked like a regular car.
The company designed it to carry one or two occupants and has a road range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles. They plan to sell each vehicle for $300,000, with the first deliveries expected by the end of 2025.
The FAA granted the company a special airworthiness certificate for limited purposes. These include exhibition, research, and development. While Alef is not the first to receive such a certificate for this type of aircraft, it differentiates itself by being capable of functioning both on roads and in the air. But, the company still needs approval to operate on roads.
Alef’s CEO, Jim Dukhovny, expressed excitement about the FAA certification. He said it brings them closer to providing an environmentally friendly and faster commuting solution. This would save individuals and companies valuable time.
The company refers to its flying car as a “low-speed vehicle” on its website. It has a max speed of around 25 miles per hour on paved roads. Alef anticipates that users will use the vehicle’s flight capabilities when a faster route is needed.
Development of the Model A began in 2015, inspired by the concept of flying cars depicted in the “Back to the Future” movies. Alef conducted successful automated test flights of a skeleton version in 2018 and a full-size prototype the following year. Yet, the special airworthiness certificate from the FAA was crucial for further research and development.
Alef Automotive has already received refundable pre-orders for over 400 vehicles. It’s priced at $150 for the general queue and $1,500 for the priority queue.
Approval from the FAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be vital in bringing this innovative flying car to the market.
Banner Image Paulo Correa