Disrupted

Xpeng-backed startup says to deliver flying cars in 2024

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The logo on an XPeng Inc. P7 performance electric vehicle is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of the Chinese company's IPO trading under the stock symbol "XPEV" in New York, U.S., August 27, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BEIJING, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Xpeng Heitech, a flying car startup backed by electric vehicle maker Xpeng Inc (9868.HK), said on Wednesday that it would deliver flying cars to customers in 2024.

The startup, founded in 2013 and funded by Xpeng and Xpeng's Chief Executive He Xiaopeng, now employs 400 people and will expand workforce to have 700 people by the end of this year, company's founder Zhao Deli told World New Energy Vehicle Congress.

Xpeng Heitech's model will be able to drive on road, Zhao said. The electric flying car will be able to drive over 600 kilometers (370 miles) on road with single charge but Zhao did not say how far it can fly each time.

Other automakers that are developing flying cars in China include Geely's (GEELY.UL) Terrafugia, which is building a factory in central city of Wuhan. Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) is also studying the industry in China.

Regulators in China, however, have yet rolled out details rules on the flying vehicles.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh Editing by Marguerita Choy

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