TCab Tech (时的科技), a domestic eVTOL industry leader, yesterday obtained 1 billion yuan (US$142 million) in credit line as a result of an agreement it signed with Bank of China.
The company, which is a pioneer in developing eVTOL aircraft for passenger and cargo transportation, signed the agreement as part of its collaboration with the Minhang branch of Bank of China, one of China’s “Big Four” state-owned banks.
According to TCab Tech, the credit line will be used to finance its R&D, airworthiness certification and commercialization efforts.
“The strategic company-bank partnership we forged will supply us with sufficient capital, and is conducive to the acceleration of R&D work on our eVTOL model E20,” Yon Wui NG, founder and CEO of TCab Tech, said in a speech acknowledging Bank of China’s support. “It will also spur the commercialization of ‘air taxi.'”
E20 is the first aerial vehicle developed by the Shanghai-based startup, which leads the race to produce China’s indigenously designed tiltrotor eVTOL aircraft.
The aerial vehicle features a tiltrotor architecture, a capacity of 450kg and a 5-seat design. With a range of 200km, it can cruise at 260kph.
According to the company’s website, E20 is well positioned to complement existing intra- and inter-city mobility solutions, by helping commuters avoid congestion during rush hours.
Traditionally, a car will need 80 minutes to travel some 90km from Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport to the Gate of the Orient in neighboring Suzhou, a local landmark.
E20, by contrast, cuts the time of the trip to 18 minutes as it flies in a straight line between these two destinations, avoiding detours on highways and reducing the journey to 65km.
As China steadily relaxes restrictions on its urban low-altitude airspace, it has opened up a billion-dollar-worth market for new forms of urban air mobility (UAM).
A host of startups have flocked to the sector, lured by the commercial prospects of operating air taxi, or flying car, services and delivering freight by air.
The credit line offered to TCab Tech signals the high hopes relevant financial institutions have pinned on the company’s technologies and future in the eVTOL space, said the company in a statement posted on its official WeChat account.
TCab Tech closed a 100 million-yuan pre-Series A funding round in February this year.