The United States Government has given approval to California-based company Alef Aeronautics for its electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, the Model A flying car.
The Alef Model A, which was unveiled in October 2022, can be driven on public roads and can reportedly takeoff and land vertically. It has a driving range of 200 miles or 322 kilometers and a flying range of 110 miles or 177 kilometers on a single full charge. The car can accommodate one to two people.
The Model A flying car is priced at USD 300,000 or Rs 2.46 crore. The electric model can be pre-ordered via Alef’s website for a token amount of USD 150 or Rs 12,308, while priority bookings for USD 1,500 or Rs 1.23 lakh are also being accepted by the company.
The company claimed that it has garnered strong response from individuals and companies for pre-orders. The production of Model A will begin in 2025.
Alef said in an official statement that it has received special airworthiness certification from the US Federal Aviation Administation (FAA), becoming the first such vehicle to get legal approval to fly from the US Government.
While the FAA is working on its policies for eVTOL vehicles, as well as governing interactions between eVTOLs and ground infrastructure, Alef’s special airworthiness certificate limits the locations and purpose for which the Model A is permitted to fly. For now, it can takeoff from whitelisted areas only.
Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny said, “We're excited to receive this certification from the FAA. It allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week. This is one small step for planes, one giant step for cars."
Meanwhile, Alef is also working on models other than Model A including the Model Z which is planned to be introduced by 2035. The Model Z will have a driving range of 300 miles or 483 kilometers and a flying range of 220 miles or 354 kilometers on a single full charge. It will be able to accommodate four to six people. The price of Model Z is expected to be near USD 35,000 or Rs 28.75 lakh.