Over the last couple of months, most of the major car manufacturers have been releasing details of their Electric Cars which they hope to be released and ready for sale by 2020, in preparation for market changes in 2040.
Audi have announced they are planning to begin production of their first all-electric SUV in 2018, heavily inspired by the e-tron Quattro concept with a range of 310 miles on a single charge.
BMW have unveiled the basic design for the full-production electric version of their next Mini Car at the Frankfurt Motor Show. They are planning for this 3-door vehicle to go into production in Oxford in 2019.
Ford, whilst late to the Electric Car Market, are planning to mass-produce their first all-electric vehicle which is expected to be an affordable option available to the marketplace in 2020.
Whilst these well-known and well-spoken about Brands are making the headlines almost daily with their hotly anticipated Electric Vehicles, the headline that has caught my eye the most is about a German Start-up company called Lilium and their concept for an Electric Car is quite different.
Lilium was founded in Munich in 2014 and they are currently working on developing ‘air-taxis’. Their mission is simple – to create a world in which everyone can fly anywhere at any time.
Whilst there are numerous other companies looking to develop the technology required to get this model off the ground (so to speak) this newly formed company is trying to stand out by focusing on an electric jet style model, rather than the more frequently flouted hovercroft models.
The jet, which isn’t technically a jet, flies using 36 small propellers which run purely on electricity and could be a good solution to overly-congested city routes, taking off vertically, yet flying horizontally there would be no need for runway space and travel times could be dramatically reduced – due to speeds of 300km per hour!
Lilium have successfully tested and flown (albeit passenger-less) a 2 seat version which went without hitch. So, following a successful funding mission they managed to secure an extra $90 million from some pretty high-flying (excuse the pun!) investors, including the co-founders of Skype and Twitter. This extra funding will enable them to make their 5-seat flying jet a reality.
With some heavy backing is this an idea that will ever take off (quite literally)? Will it be the new Uber offering an affordable air-taxi service? Or is it too far-fetched an idea that whilst is good in concept would be too hard to get off the ground?
I would absolutely love to know your thoughts.