Rapidly expanding Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely has acquired U.S.-based flying car developer Terrafugia Inc of Woburn, Massachusetts.
Geely Chairman Li Shufu said the acquisition will allow the company to roll out its first flying car for the market in 2019, and the world’s first vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) car in 2023.
Geely is headquartered in Hangzhou, in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, where Terrafugia also has a research and development facility.
Geely (officially Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Ltd) sells passenger vehicles under the Geely Auto, Volvo, LYNK & CO, and Lotus brands and commercial vehicles under the London Electric Vehicle Company and Yuan Cheng New Energy Commercial Vehicle brands.
The company has made several overseas acquisitions before. In 2010, it acquired Swedish passenger car maker Volvo Cars and three years later it bought British taxi maker The London Electric Vehicle Company.
First self-flying car just around the corner
In June 2017, Geely purchased 49.9% equity in Malaysian carmaker Proton as well as a 51% majority stake in British sports carmaker Lotus Cars.
Terrafugia focuses on designing and producing flying cars and has successfully developed several prototypes such as the Transition and TF-X.
Terrafugia’s TF-X project is a plug-in hybrid tilt-rotor vehicle and would be the first fully autonomous flying car. It has a range of 500 miles per flight and batteries are rechargeable by the engine.
The TF-X has four seats and features semi-autonomous driving and folding-wing VTOL. It has a maximum flight speed of 322 km/h and a range of more than 800 kilometers.
Nol van Fenema