Geely, the Maker of London Black Taxi and Volvo Owner Acquires Terrafugia, a Flying Car Startup


Photo by: James Barrett

The company which produces the iconic black cabs of London is venturing into the flying car business.

Geely of China, which is also the owner Volvo, has snapped up Boston-based Terrafugia, one of the handful of startups that are working on the technology.

Produced from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006, the company has aspirations of getting vehicles into the air as early as 2019. They also plan to make use of the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology by 2025. One of its first prototypes takes off like a plane. However, VTOL tech operates more like that of a helicopter, taking the vehicle straight up.

Li Shufu, the founder and chairman of Geely, said that 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,” said Li Shufu.

The size of the said deal, which is still subject to the approval of regulators, has not been revealed.

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

High-profile names with plans of flying cars include Larry Page, the founder of Google, and the Uber.