Drones

EHang share rises: partnership rumors

News and comment. As one of the few publicly traded drone companies, EHang stock has risen significantly over the past month – and it has caught the attention of the broader investment community as even the Motley Fool newsletter ponders why the stock has done so well.

The rise in EHang shares might be less of a mystery to the drone industry. EHang has moved from demonstrating a prototype at CES 2016 to demonstrating working passenger drones across Korea in 2020. At DRONELIFE, we’ve written about EHang so many times over the past five years that stories take up more than four full pages in our archives. From the recreational ghost drone of 2015 to the advanced autonomous aircraft (AAV) of 2021, we’ve seen EHang struggle at times: in recent years, however, it has been able to hold its own beyond the imagination of any previous industry.

Well, there are many factors that could generate renewed interest in EHang stocks.

Solid government support

It is clear that EHang has the support of the Chinese government. China has sponsored the testing of passenger drone applications that include cargo delivery, emergency medical services, search and rescue, and fire fighting.

China is a very large country with huge differences in terrain and road infrastructure – and could therefore benefit enormously from the widespread adoption of AAV. Much like countries that did not yet have widespread and robust land-based telecommunications that had skipped other countries into cellular telecommunications, China was able to adopt passenger drones in less accessible areas much faster than countries with more established road infrastructure. China’s explicit choice of EHang as the AAV pilot partner in conjunction with a government resolution to prioritize urban air mobility is a strong tailwind for EHang.

Global distribution

Outside of China, EHang has signed partnership agreements across Asia and Europe and appears poised to be a global leader in urban air mobility attempts. In 2020, EHang partnered with the South Korean government: they launched a passenger drone demonstration across the country, and South Korea has stated that urban air mobility programs must be a focus of development. In addition, EHang has agreements with cities in Spain, Austria and other parts of Europe and Canada to demonstrate their capabilities. It’s an upward spiral: the more flight options EHang offers, the better and better known the platform becomes in the industry – and safety data increases.

Rumors of a new partnership?

It’s officially “Buzz”. We read it on EVTOL.com and heard about it from DRONEMASTERS (credit where credit is due folks): German automaker Volkswagon has recently shown interest in autonomous aircraft (AAVs). Is a Volkswagen passenger drone in the works? Or is Volkswagen interested in a partnership with EHang – and does this give the EHang share a boost? Could be. Automotive giants are rushing to the urban air mobility arena. Hyundai, Audi, GM, Porsche and others have announced new projects and prototypes. Volkswagen could just show interest – or be ready to get involved in one of the best-known and best-tested platforms that are already on the market.

Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has written over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing on the drone industry, email Miriam.

TWITTER: @spaldingbarker

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