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GM surprises with Cadillac eVTOL air taxi at CES 2021

Roadshow logo Roadshow 2021-01-14 Chris Paukert
GM is the latest automaker to investigate the nascent electric air-taxi business. General Motors © Provided by Roadshow GM is the latest automaker to investigate the nascent electric air-taxi business. General Motors

General Motors is telegraphing that it, too, plans to join the burgeoning eVTOL air-taxi business -- and the company plans to do it in style. As part of its virtual CES expo, GM Exhibit Zero, the automaker on Tuesday revealed renderings and animations of a Cadillac-branded personal aircraft powered by batteries.

The sleek, electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft would be GM's first foray into aerial mobility, and the company says this four-rotor aircraft is powered by a 90-kWh battery to deliver speeds of up to 56 mph. Beyond that, details are scarce -- GM stopped short of offering more technical details, let alone committing to production or detailing a time frame in which we can expect to see these eVTOLs, as they're known, in the air. Based on the images, this looks like a single-seat drone, presumably for short urban hops executed autonomously.

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GM is the latest automaker to look skyward and consider pursing the air taxi business. In fact, on Tuesday, crosstown rivals at FCA announced a partnership with Archer to build eVTOL air taxis. Other automakers, like Hyundai and Aston Martin, have also staked out claims in this new mobility space. Rapid advancements in batteries, electric motors and cloud-based services for electric cars and trucks have helped make forays into electric personal aircraft seem more plausible. GM's heavy investment into its Ultium EV hardware program looks like it could help pay big dividends here. 

a man standing next to a plane: GM is the latest automaker to investigate the nascent electric air-taxi business. © General Motors

GM is the latest automaker to investigate the nascent electric air-taxi business.

It isn't immediately clear if GM has a functional eVTOL prototype at this point, or what the next step is in the development of this new business for GM.

Cadillac's eVTOL is an electric, autonomous personal air taxi

a person standing next to a car: General Motors' CES 2021 virtual presentation was full of surprises, perhaps none more unexpected than this Cadillac-branded electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) autonomous air taxi.

General Motors' CES 2021 virtual presentation was full of surprises, perhaps none more unexpected than this Cadillac-branded electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) autonomous air taxi.
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