EHang has entered into a strategic partnership with the Agricultural Bank of China’s (ABC) Guangzhou branch to help support its operations in China.
ABC is to provide the eVTOL startup with comprehensive banking services, including credit facilities of RMB1 billion (US$149 million), which EHang said will help support its work in research and development, manufacturing, and sales and operations. This is the first time the ABC Guangzhou branch has partnered with a company developing autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs).
“We are very pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with ABC Guangzhou branch,” said Huazhi Hu, founder, chair and CEO of EHang, in a press release. “The RMB1 billion indicative facilities for cooperation will further diversify our funding channels and facilitate our financial flexibility and liquidity to support the continuous execution of our strategic plans and drive our growth momentum in the long run.”
The Chinese eVTOL developer is currently working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to get its EH216 autonomous aircraft type certified. The company said its two-seat multicopter can be used for aerial sightseeing, passenger services, firefighting, and logistics.
EHang is also developing the VT-30 eVTOL aircraft, an autonomous lift-plus-cruise winged aircraft designed to carry out longer range missions.
Headquartered in Guangzhou, China, EHang’s executives had previously said the country remains EHang’s main market for its AAVs, but China isn’t its only target market. EHang has already established partnerships in other Asian regions, including Japan, Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and has activities in western regions such as Europe, the U.S., and Canada.
Earlier this week, the company announced a partnership with Enaire, Spain’s national air navigation services provider and future provider of common information services for U-Space airspace.
The company said the partnership is intended to support research, development and innovation when it comes to U-Space and urban air mobility (UAM) in Spain and Europe.
“Through the collaboration with Enaire, EHang seeks to support the development and implementation of new digital technologies for the integration of AAVs and the implementation of a safe, sustainable and efficient UAM,” said Victoria Xiang, chief operating officer of EHang Europe and Latin America.