Alef Aeronautics Says It Has 2,850 Preorders for its $300,000 Electric Flying Car

Alef Aeronautics Inc.’s preorders have reached more than $850 million in value.

(San Mateo, California) Electric flying car startup Alef Aeronautics Inc. said that preorder numbers for its $300,000 two-seater flying car, the Alef Model A, have reached 2,850, with a preorder order value of more than $850 million to date.

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A rendering of the Alef Model A flying car courtesy of Alef Aeronautics.

Preorders for the Model A can be accessed online, and customers need to deposit $150 for the vehicle in order to confirm their preorders; deposits can be cancelled at any time.

In contrast to the vehicles currently being manufactured by many other electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) developers, which typically look like futuristic helicopters, Alef’s flying car resembles an actual car, with a mesh shell covering the eight rotors on the inside.

“As of today we have a little bit more than 2,850 preorders with deposits down, which makes [the Model A] the bestselling aircraft in history, more than Boeing, Airbus, Joby Aviation and most of the eVTOLs combined,” Alef’s Chief Executive Officer, Jim Dukhovny, told CNBC.

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The Alef Model A flying car parked near a house, courtesy of Alef Aeronautics.

Alef has been test-driving and flying its prototype Model A since 2019, and production and deliveries are anticipated toward the end of 2025. The Model A will have a driving range of ~200 miles and a flight range of ~ 110 miles.

The Model A became the first-ever electric flying car to receive experimental category Special Airworthiness Certification from the FAA on June 12, 2023, marking the first time such a vehicle has received legal approval to fly from the U.S. government.

In a 2022 interview with CNBC, Dukovny said that the Model A is mostly intended to stay on roads, and will ideally only travel through the air for short heights and distances to avoid ground-related obstacles.

“I know that people have claimed the first flying car,” Dukhovny said, per CNBC, “but we always had the idea that it has to be a car, a physical car, a regular car. As you can see it’s an eVTOL, an electric car, a regular car, drive, park, look, everything as a car, and a vertical takeoff.”

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Alef Aeronautics CEO Jim Dukhovny presents the Model A at Media Day at the 2023 Detroit Auto Show, courtesy of Alef Aeronautics.

Alef is backed by Tim Draper, one of the first venture capitalists to invest in Tesla; former head of DARPA and Ford Aerospace Dr. Anthony Tether; NBA star Luis Scola and Bugatti and Jaguar designer Hirash Razaghi.

With respect to similar models, the FAA also granted Samson Sky’s flying car, the Switchblade, the go-ahead for flight testing in July of 2022, and Terrafugia Inc.’s Transition earned special light sport aircraft (SLSA) compliance in 2021. These models are somewhat different from Alef’s Model A in that they are partially electric and rely on fixed-wing flight - and are therefore designed to take off from airports rather than streets.

Separately, Alef is also working on a four-person sedan version of its flying car - the Model Z - which is scheduled to launch by 2035 at a price of $35,000 per vehicle. The Model Z will be capable of flying ~ 200 miles with a driving range of ~ 400 miles.

** This article has been updated to reflect Alef's the correct investor team.

Newsfeed: Thursday, May 30, 2024