EHang has reported solid progress with the type certification process for the EH216 two-passenger eVTOL Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV). Announcing financial results for the second quarter of 2022, the Chinese company said that a type certification team from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has agreed on key elements of the airworthiness approval process, including the basis for certification and plans for achieving it.
In an August 18 update, EHang said that its engineers have now “worked out” 13 of the means-of-compliance requirements that will apply to the all-electric vehicle, which is primarily intended for short air taxi and sightseeing flights. The company said it is continuing internal tests as it prepares to demonstrate compliance to the CAAC at an as-yet-unspecified date.
In the three months ended June 30, EHang’s revenues increased almost 152 percent to RMB 14.6 million ($2.2 million), which it said was primarily due to growing precertification sales of the EH216-S. The company's investor relations department explained to FutureFlight that these revenues resulted from small numbers of aircraft ordered and delivered to customers prior to certification to support these early service adopters with training and demonstration activities. The amounts reported do not include larger numbers of pre-orders backed by deposits.
Deals completed during the quarter include a purchase order for five aircraft from China's Tianxingjian Cultural Tourism Investment and Development, with all of these units reported as delivered even though type certification is still pending. In April, Indonesia’s Prestige Aviation preordered 100 units.
Despite the reported boost in revenues, net losses for the quarter increased 7 percent to RMB 74.3 million ($11.1 million). In late June, the Agricultural Bank of China granted EHang credit facilities to provide RMB 1 billion ($149 million) to support research and development, manufacturing, and operations. As of June 30, the company’s balance sheet showed cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and short-term investments valued at RMB 240.7 million ($35.9 million).
EHang now refers to the passenger-carrying version of its eVTOL vehicle as the EH216-S model, to differentiate it from the EH216-F firefighting version and the EH216-L, which is being offered for aerial logistics. The company's planned family of eVTOL aircraft also includes the larger, longer-range VT-30 model.
This story was updated on August 23, 2022, to clarify the basis for revenues reported from early orders and deliveries of the EH216-S aircraft.