Jessica Tabinor automotive jobs
INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ
A Massachusetts start-up company, Alaka’i, has launched a flying car concept called Skai.
The development process for the flying car is estimated to have cost around $15 million so far.
Alaka’i says it's planning to conduct a test flight near its Massachusetts headquarters.
A Massachusetts start-up company, Alaka’i, has launched a flying car concept called Skai. The company states that they have created the first air mobility vehicle powered by hydrogen fuels cells which can hold five people or a 1000-pound load.
Skai is powered by 100% hydrogen fuel cells and resembles a cross between a helicopter and a quadcopter despite being branded a ‘car’. It is believed that the vehicle has a 400-mile range and that it can fly for approximately 4 hours.
How does Skai work?
Skai has six rotors that are driven by electric motors which generate about 400 horsepower. Hydrogen fuel cells create electricity to power a battery and motor by mixing hydrogen and oxygen. Alaka’i said that it decided to use hydrogen to power the vehicle as it’s the cleanest end-to-end energy solution available today. The hydrogen developed for Skai is produced using renewable energy and at the end of their life, 95% of the cell can be reused. The only emissions it will produce are steam and water and any excess energy can also be stored in batteries.
The industry is competitive with the likes of Boeing and Airbus making successful test flights earlier this year. However, most alternative options are powered by batteries which limits them in terms of weight and range. Skai’s use of hydrogen fuel provides them with a competitive advantage as their car is far lighter than others and allows for more flexibility in its use.
Funding the project
Alaka’i has been pushing for a mock-up, a VR experience and promotional campaign to arise interest from both the public and potential investors. Alaka’i is currently funded by a single investor who is currently remaining anonymous.
The development process for the flying car is estimated to have cost around $15 million so far. Alaka’i says it is planning a test flight near its Massachusetts headquarters in the near future.
(Images sourced via Skai/Facebook)