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EHang unveils heavy-lift autonomous aerial vehicle

With a payload of 200 kilograms, the EHang 216L opens up commercial opportunities for short-to-medium-haul air logistics in both urban and rural areas.

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EHang 216L AAV heavy-lift aircraft

Photo Credit: EHang

EHang Holdings Ltd. (Gaungzhou, China), an autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company, unveiled on Sept. 30 the logistics version of its flagship product EHang 216 — the EHang 216L for short-to-medium-haul air logistics in both urban and rural areas. The EHang 216L boasts a payload of 200 kilograms, which, to the company’s knowledge, is the largest for multi-rotor AAVs for aerial logistics. The company also notes that the EHang 216L is another application of its AAV technology platform that addresses real market needs such as logistics.

The EHang 216L is said to employ a fully redundant safety design and a distributed electric propulsion configuration consisting of eight arms and 16 independent motors and propellors. The design delivers the key characteristics for which EHang is said to be known for: safety, auto-piloting, cluster management, interconnection and clean energy.

With such a payload, the aircraft opens up more commercial opportunities for the company in various urban and rural short-to-medium-haul aerial logistics use cases that require frequent and point-to-point flight tasks. For example, says EHang, the EHang 216L can more quickly and efficiently transport agricultural products to help boost the local economy in mountainous areas with poor road conditions, or deliver supplies and oil samples for offshore oil rigs autonomously. Further, says the company, the aircraft can be a powerful tool in time-critical missions such as aerial emergency supply transportation and disaster relief in a more automatic and large-scale manner, etc.

According to Frost and Sullivan, the urban air mobility (UAM) global logistics market could reach USD $46 billion by 2023 (an estimated CAGR of 740%). China is projected to be the largest regional market in the world in 2023, accounting for 45% of the global logistics UAM market.

“We’re thrilled to unveil another new version of AAV following the EHang 216F. With increasing payloads and flight ranges, aerial logistics is expected to be one of the initial commercial applications of AAVs as it has higher efficiencies but lower emissions than the conventional ground transportation. The launch of the EHang 216L also complements our existing aerial logistics AAV portfolio, which consists of the medium-sized Falcon B and the small-sized GD 2.0X. It also enables us to meet customer needs in various aerial logistics use cases,” says EHang’s founder, chairman and CEO Hu Huazhi.

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