Geely to bring air taxis to China in tie-up with Daimler-backed Volocopter

German startup Volocopter said the new funds will be used toward bringing its VoloCity aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years. (AFP)
Updated 09 September 2019

Geely to bring air taxis to China in tie-up with Daimler-backed Volocopter

  • Daimler investment reflects how the Chinese company is transitioning to become a mobility technology group
  • The investment is not Geely’s first bet on flying machines

BEIJING: German startup Volocopter said it plans to form a partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group that will bring its air taxis to China and that it has raised €50 million ($55.13 million) in fresh funding from the Chinese company and others.
Volocopter, which says it is building the world’s first manned, electric and vertical takeoff air taxis, said in a statement on Monday that the other investors in the new funding round include German luxury car maker Daimler, which it had previously raised money from.
It did not say how much each investor contributed, but added that the most recent deal increases the total capital it has raised to €85 million, and that the new funds will be used toward bringing its VoloCity aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years.
Geely’s chairman Li Shufu said in the statement that the investment reflected how the Chinese company is transitioning to become a mobility technology group, investing in and developing a wide range of next-generation technologies.
The co-operation underlines “our confidence in Volocopter air taxis as the next ambitious step in our wider expansion in both electrification and new mobility services,” Li said.
The investment is not Geely’s first bet on flying machines. It is building a plant in China’s central city of Wuhan to make Terrafugia branded flying cars, company documents show.
Geely bought a 9.7 percent stake in Daimler in 2018. The companies have said they plan to build the next generation of Smart electric cars in China through a joint venture. They also plan to form a premium ride-hailing joint venture in China.


Egypt and Cyprus to boost Eastern Med gas ties

Updated 3 min 17 sec ago

Egypt and Cyprus to boost Eastern Med gas ties

  • The two countries also progressed talks to build a marine pipeline
  • The pair agreed to hold a further meeting within the next two weeks

CAIRO: Egypt and Cyprus plan to boost cooperation in developing gas infrastructure in the Easter Mediterranean.
Egypt’s petroleum and mineral resources minister Tariq Al-Mulla on Wednesday discussed plans to convert the East Mediterranean Gas Forum to an intergovernmental organization with Cyprus’s Minister of Energy Natasa Pilides.
The pair agreed to hold a further meeting within the next two weeks to complete the procedures for the forum.
The two countries also progressed talks to build a marine pipeline between the two countries to transfer natural gas from the Aphrodite gas field of Cyprus and re-export it through Egypt.
A 2010 study by the United States Geological Survey estimated the volume of gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean basin to be about 345 trillion cubic feet of gas. This basin also contains some 3.4 billion barrels of oil, along with large quantities of gas liquids.