The autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang has announced a partnership with Italian architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG) to move its air mobility solutions forward in the EU. EHang is one of the most active and arguably most promising eVTOL companies in the world, and this new project is one of the most interesting developments to date.
As a sector, eVTOL vehicles attract their fair share of fans and detractors. There is something about the futuristic nature of an electric vehicle that lifts and lands vertically that really fascinates people, and this new project has an element of style and panache that will only fuel the allure. GZDG has designed an eco-sustainable vertiport that is inspired by the native African Baobab tree. It’s a striking and unique design that somehow manages to look both futuristic and classic at the same time.
The tower will be 30 meters tall and built with a steel and laminated wood structure. There will be a platform for takeoff and landing on the roof terrace, but it’s not just a landing pad, as there will be a cafe, a 200-square-meter panoramic restaurant, a waiting room, and a connecting lift. The vertiport will be built using green design and construction materials. It will have non-slip photovoltaic panels that can generate more than 300 KW of electric power per day, as well as plug-and-play charging infrastructure for recharging the vehicles.
This vertiport design represents EHang’s ambitions to cater to a new type of tourism that it is predicting will grow considerably in the future. Vertiports such as these will be aerial hubs for the eco-tourism sector, and there are currently plans for vertiports in the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, and China, as well as Italy.
Tourism isn’t the only market that EHang has its eye on, though. The company is currently involved in using its autonomous aerial vehicles as solutions for various commercial industries, such as medical deliveries and general logistics. There are a number of eVTOL companies vying for position in the passenger transportation space, and these vertiports from GZDG might be one way that EHang helps to further separate itself from the pack.
Image credit: eHang