Operating losses at Chinese eVTOL aircraft developer EHang increased almost fourfold during the second quarter of 2021 to reach RMB 74.9 million ($11.6 million). In the three months through June 30, group revenues were down almost 66 percent on the same period in 2020 at RMB 12.2 million ($1.9 million).
According to the Nasdaq-listed public company, the dip in financial performance is due to its being in the process of making a “strategic transition into a more operation platform-orientated model.” During the second quarter, EHang did improve margins through activities such as operating a command-and-control system for a smart city management project that was recently concluded.
During the second quarter, EHang sold a further three examples of its EH216 two-seat autonomous eVTOL aircraft (compared with 16 in the same period of 2020). The company said this drop was reflected in its planned shift in business model to being an advanced air mobility operator.
Since April, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has had a team of regulators working on the type certification process for the all-electric vehicle. EHang has continued to conduct flight demonstrations with the EH216 at domestic locations and also in Japan.
In May, EHang confirmed that it is working on a larger, longer-range eVTOL aircraft called the VT-30. It has not released details of this model beyond saying that it will be able to fly up to 300 km (186 miles) with a maximum flight duration of 100 minutes.
In June, EHang started operations at its new production facility in Yunfu. It says the site, which is equipped to make all the necessary components, including carbon fiber airframes, will have the capacity to assemble 600 vehicles each year.
“Looking ahead, we will continue moving towards our long-term strategic goal of becoming a UAM [urban air mobility] platform operator through accumulating solid momentum as we are implementing the 100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative,” said EHang founder, chairman, and CEO Huazhi Hu. “With that goal in mind, we have so far targeted 15 self-run operation spots and another 21 spots run by our customers, mainly in southern China. Meanwhile, we are making efforts to get ourselves ready for trial operations through production optimizations and prioritizing the certification process.”