eVTOL pioneer TCab Tech unveils 5-seat prototype of E20 air taxi

Following the newly forged partnership, TCab Tech has brought the total of intentional advance orders for E20 to 200.

TCab Tech (时的科技), a pioneer in China’s eVTOL space, unveiled its 5-seat model E20, on June 16 at an airport in Hengdian, a town in Zhejiang Province.

The aircraft has a maximum range of 200 km, a cruising speed of 260 kph and a maximum cruising speed of 320 kph, according to Shanghai-based TCab Tech.

As one of the first domestic eVTOL startups to choose a tilt-rotor structure, TCab Tech’s E20 prototype has been much-anticipated within the industry.

E20 features independently developed tilt flight control laws, low-speed five-bladed rotors and a high power-to-weight-ratio motor from Safran, a French manufacturer of hybrid smart motors for commuter aircraft.

Equipped with noise reduction technologies, the air taxi, or flying car, can reduce noise pollution to the best possible extent.

It also comes with a 800-volt architecture, which enables fast charging and lower energy consumption.

E20 also stands out with a unique Cell-to-Wing design, meaning that it integrates battery cells into the wings.

This could effectively improve safety and structural efficiency while giving the aircraft a lightweight body, according to TCab Tech.

All photos courtesy of TCab Tech

E20 has fixed wings akin to traditional airplanes, but at the same time it also has six tilt wings, including four that can be tilted and another two which are fixed after takeoff to limit resistance.

“Thanks to an optimized motor and electric structural design, we simplified the way of power transmission and make flying more convenient and safer,” said Yon Wui NG, founder and CEO of TCab Tech.

In addition to showcasing the E20 prototype, the startup also signed strategic collaboration agreements with three domestic civil aviation operators such as Jinggong Group and Xingkonghui Club, to provide them with E20 aircraft and tap into China’s growing urban air mobility (UAM) network.

Following the newly forged partnership, TCab Tech has brought the total of intentional advance orders for E20 to 200.

TCab Tech has completed flight tests on E20 models of a reduced scale — a fourth and half as large, respectively.

Through these tests, it has verified the model’s performance on a series of metrics such as aerodynamic configuration, tilt flight control laws, flight quality, structural strength and manufacturing technique.

Besides, it also generated sufficient data from this process to be used in future iteration of the prototype.

Ng of TCab Tech revealed that tests of a E20 airframe are also underway, which will speed up troubleshooting and lower the risks associated with test flights of a prototype.

He added the full-size E20 is slated for ground and flight tests in the second half of this year.

“We will continue to focus on the development of passenger-carrying eVTOL,” said Ng. “We hope to foster the development of China’s advanced UAM with Chinese-made tech products.”

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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