Hyundai's advanced air mobility company, Supernal, revealed its electric flying taxi prototype at the CES event on Tuesday. The four-passenger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, named S-A2, is designed to operate quietly and may be powered by solid-state batteries.
Building upon its initial concept showcased at CES in 2020, Supernal, a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, aims to integrate automotive design with aerospace engineering to create a new mode of urban transportation.
The S-A2 is an electric aircraft capable of cruising at 120 miles per hour at an altitude of 1,500 feet, targeting shorter city trips within a range of 25 to 40 miles. Featuring eight tilting rotors and a distributed electric propulsion system, Hyundai emphasizes the vehicle's quiet operation, measuring 65 dB during vertical takeoff and landing and 45 dB while cruising.
Prioritizing sustainability and comfort, the aircraft incorporates an airframe structure with integrated powertrain, flight controls, and avionics. Hyundai plans to leverage its mass production capabilities to maintain quality while keeping costs manageable.
Ben Diachun, Chief Technology Officer at Supernal, highlighted the design's adaptability to emerging electric powertrain technologies. Hyundai intends to explore various battery options, including lithium-metal and solid-state batteries, in line with its commitment to advancing electric propulsion.
Supernal's CEO, Jaiwon Shin, stated that the company aims to seek U.S. certification in mid-2024, with flight tests anticipated by the end of that year. The official launch of the electric air taxi is slated for 2028.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Shin disclosed Hyundai's exploration of battery alternatives, reflecting the company's ongoing efforts in the electric mobility space. Hyundai recently filed a patent for a pressurized all-solid-state EV battery system in the United States.