China’s TCab Tech this week reported that it has raised RMB100 million ($15 million) to support its efforts to develop its E20 eVTOL aircraft. Venture-capital group Grand Flight led the pre-Series A funding round, which was supported by Kunlun Capital and KIP Capital, along with existing shareholders BlueRun Ventures and Decent Capital.
The investments build on seed funding rounds in 2021 that raised around $10 million. TCab Tech was founded by former executives with rival Chinese eVTOL vehicle developers Terrafugia (part of the Geely automotive group and now called Aerofugia) and AutoFlight.
The Shanghai-based company aims to complete certification for the five-seat E20 aircraft with the Civil Aviation Administration of China in 2025. The design, which TCab Tech unveiled in 2022, features two pairs of tilting rotors fitted to the ends of a main wing and a T-shaped tail section. The aircraft also has two fixed lift rotors on a beam extending forward from the wing, and these are intended to be stowed away during cruise flights.
In May 2022, TCab Tech announced that French aerospace group Safran will provide its EngineUs electric motors for the E20. Each of the aircraft’s rotors will have its own 100-kilowatt EngineUs 100 motor, for which Safran aims to complete type certification before the end of 2023. The aircraft engine maker will also provide an air-cooled thermal management system.
According to TCab Tech, the piloted E20 aircraft is intended for aerial ridesharing services, and for carrying up to four passengers. It is expected to have a range of 200 kilometers (125 miles) and a cruising speed of 260 km/h (162 mph). The company says TCab stands for “Time Taxi.”
“Our team will continue to expedite the commercialization of the E20 eVTOL with a pragmatic attitude, focusing on creating aircraft of a high commercial value, and facilitating the advancement of urban air mobility in China and the Asia Pacific region,” commented founder and CEO Yon Wui Ng.