Geely has finally bought Terrafugia, the famous flying car we’ve been hearing so much about for years. So, what does this mean for the future of flying cars and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles?
Does Geely’s Terrafugia Acquisition Mean VTOL Are Taking Off?
Geely is one heck of a smart company. It not only managed to bring back Volvo from bankruptcy but also made it one of the most relevant car companies on the planet. Geely also managed to leave the Volvo culture alone and let the car company continue to do what it does best — make darn great cars. We can now only wait for the electric vehicles (EV) it has been promising us. In any case, the Volvo acquisition by Geely is something every automaker needs to keep in its acquisition 101 classroom filing cabinet.
When Geely started talking to Terrafugia, the news was viewed positively, but how would it work? If Geely’s management of Volvo so far was any indication, that’s some seriously good news for the flying car maker, Terrafugia.
Now that the acquisition is finally happening, we should soon get a closer view of how things will roll … or fly.
Making Sense of Geely Investing in Terrafugia
Terrafugia was founded in 2006 by five MIT grads with a vision and passion to change the way we move through our environment. And by November 13th, 2017, it became part of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which is also part of Geely Holding, joining Volvo and other EV projects the company has.
VTOLs, flying cars, and flying taxis are hot news items these days. Deciphering the potential from the buying sprees is not easy. One thing is for certain, though — while Elon Musk buries himself under the ground with hyperloops and out into space, in between those two, Boeing bought the Aurora Flight Science, Airbus testing its Vahana VTOL, and, of course, Uber is jumping into the flying taxi concept. In other words, flying cars are high on everyone’s radar. Strangely enough, Tesla is absent from that race — at least, so far.
Terrafugia believes it can get its first flying car into production within the next two years. The winged flying car will require general aviation fields for taking off and landing. And no, that means at the first sign of a traffic jam, you can’t just take off … sigh. The idea is to have a car that is flexible enough to change plans, go to the local airport, fly to a landing field, and avoiding the ever crowded and growing congestion on roads.
Terrafugia is not stopping there, though. It wants to embrace the love VTOLs have received over the past few years and hopes to have one ready by 2023.
According to Li Shufu, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Founder and Chairman: “This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so. … Our investment in the company reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our international operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying car a reality.”
2017 definitely has been the year of flying cars and VTOLs, and Geely finally buying Terrafugia certainly reinforces the trend. Who’s next?
You can follow Terrafugia on Facebook, Google +, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
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