German launch of flight taxi Volocopter raised € 50 million ($ 55.3 million) in a financing round led by Geely, the Chinese parent company of Volvo Cars, the company announced. The new funds will be used to achieve Volocopt's goal of launching a commercial aircraft taxi service powered by its 18-rotor electric aircraft "over the next three years."
In addition to leading this Series C funding round, Geely will also join a joint venture with Volocopter to bring the take-off flight to China. Volocopter has conducted a handful of public demonstrations of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, most recently at Helsinki airport.
Geely is not the only major company (or car manufacturer) with an interest in Volocopter. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, invested $ 30 million in 201
Volocopterte's ability to attract attention and money from so many bold faces is known because electric flying is extremely difficult to do – some would even say impossible in a commercial sense. Flying requires an incredible amount of energy, and current battery technology just doesn't provide the power-to-weight ratio needed to lift. Most experts predict that it will take years, if not decades, for battery technology to catch up.
This is probably why Volocopter envisions that the aircraft will only operate over short distances. The 2X prototype – the one with 18 rotors – has a flying time of 30 minutes and a maximum range of 27 km (17 miles), although Volocopter says the batteries can be swapped quickly to compensate for these numbers until the technology improves.  VoloCity has slightly better specifications than 2X
Last month, Volocopter unveiled VoloCity, the company's fourth generation eVTOL aircraft. VoloCity has slightly better specifications than the 2X, which can estimate a range of 35 km (or about 22 miles) and a speed of 110 km / h (or about 68 mph). The company envisions a network of roof "Volo ports" where up to 1,000 passengers could board and depart from their own "flying taxi" every hour. This is equivalent to 10,000 passengers per station per day, the company claims.
With the latest round of safety, Volocopter says that it has so far collected € 85 million ($ 94 million). The company says it is in talks with investors to end a fourth round at the end of the year.