The Chinese eVTOL developer EHang is poised to roll out a new autonomous aerial vehicle with triple the range of its current model, company officials said in their second quarter earnings call on Aug. 25.
EHang founder and CEO Huazhi Hu revealed that the company is developing an aircraft with a flight range of over 100 kilometers (62 miles) — significantly longer than the approximately 35-km (21-mile) range of the EHang 216.
Like the 216, the new model will carry two passengers, according to EHang chief strategy officer Edward Huaxiang Xu. He described the aircraft as “pretty much ready for release” and “already in good shape.” However, because the product has not yet been officially revealed, he declined to answer more detailed questions about the technology that will enable the greatly increased range.
“Once we release it you will be surprised,” he said. “So stay tuned.”
EHang reported sales of 16 units of its EHang 216 in the second quarter, compared to 14 units in the second quarter of 2019. According to chief financial officer Richard Jian Liu, all of those second-quarter sales were within China. Xu mentioned, however, that the company also has orders from a private company in Japan and a local government in South Korea, which are new markets for it in North Asia.
Meanwhile, the company is also focusing heavily on Europe, which Xu said is EHang’s most important region after Asia. EHang recently announced plans for a pilot urban air mobility (UAM) operation in Linz, Austria, with trial flights to begin in the near future. Xu added that EHang is also planning flight demonstrations with the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the Netherlands, and with a potential client in France. “So we actually are planning a number of demo flights in upcoming months,” he said.
Additionally, Liu confirmed that EHang’s partner for flight testing in Canada is United Therapeutics, which aims to use eVTOL aircraft to deliver human organs for transplant. Transport Canada recently granted a special flight operations certificate to the company for trial flights of the EHang 216 through April of next year, Liu said.
EHang reported that its air mobility solutions contributed 63.5% of its total revenues of RMB35.7 million (US$5.1 million) in the second quarter of 2020. Gross margin was 57.6% and gross profit was RMB20.6 million (US$2.9 million), up 60% year over year.
EHang reported an operating loss of RMB19.2 million (US$2.7 million), adjusted operating loss (non-GAAP) of RMB11.1 million (US$1.6 million), net loss of RMB19.7 million (US$2.8 million), and adjusted net loss (non-GAAP) of RMB11.7 million (US$1.7 million), roughly comparable to its performance in the second quarter of 2019. (Complete financial results are available on EHang’s investor relations website.)
The company is maintaining its forecast of at least 200% growth in annual revenues in 2020 based on the current pace of economic recovery and the expectation of no further major interruptions due to COVID-19.
“We are optimistic about the long-term promise of the UAM industry, and we believe our first-mover advantage will enable us to drive robust growth in the near future,” Xu said.