London black taxi maker and Volvo owner Geely buys flying car startup Terrafugia

 
Lynsey Barber
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Terrafugia wants to commercialise flying cars (Source: Getty)

The company which makes London’s iconic black cabs is getting into the flying car business.

China’s Geely, which also owns Volvo, has snapped up one of the handful of startups working on the technology, Boston-based Terrafugia.

Spawned from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006, it has ambitions of getting vehicles into the air as soon as 2019 and to use vertical take off and landing (VTOL) technology by 2025. One of its early prototypes takes off like a plane, but VTOL tech works more like a helicopter, taking the vehicle straight up.

Geely founder and chairman Li Shufu said the startup was working in a “tremendously exciting sector”.

“We believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so,” he said.

The size of the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, has not been disclosed.

Other startups working on flying cars include Lilium and Aeromobil in Europe, and Ehang in China.

High-profile names with flying car plans include Uber and Google founder Larry Page.