Washington DC July 3 2023: A California company that's building a flying electric car is now taking preorders.
Alef Aeronautics’ flying car has been given a special airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), meaning the company will be allowed to road/air test the car, the company said in a news release.
The fully electric vehicle (with a hydrogen option for a higher price) is a low-speed vehicle that can be driven up to 200 miles on public roads and fits into a regular garage, but it can also launch vertically into the air with a flying range of 110 miles, according to Alef's website.
The company's "Model A" car "can fly forward above the obstacles until a desired destination is reached," the San Mateo-based company says. "The driver and the cabin are stabilized by a unique gimbaled rotating cabin design."
Alef touts the car’s ability to avoid traffic, fly in any direction while giving a "cinematic 180 plus degree view for safe and enjoyable flight."
Customers can preorder the vehicle, which can seat up to two people is expected to cost around $300,000.
An FAA spokesperson told Fox Business it "issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate for the Armada Model Zero aircraft on June 12, 2023. This certificate allows the aircraft to be used for limited purposes, including exhibition, research and development. This is not the first aircraft of its kind for which the FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate."
Alef first unveiled the car last October and said it has already taken a "strong" number of preorders from people and businesses.
The FAA is working on policies for the takeoff and landing of electric vehicles, the company said.
"We're excited to receive this certification from the FAA," Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny, who co-founded the company in 2015, said in a statement.
Dukhovny and co-founders Constantine Kisly, Pavel Markin and Oleg Petrovwere were first inspired to first try to create a flying car in 2015, when they realized it was the same year when Marty McFly drove one in "Back to the Future II," the website says.
"During one of the Science Fiction lectures, Jim Dukhovny talked about how flying cars are finally possible in 2015," the website says. "But he lacked technical skills to take on such a complicated task by himself."
The four met at a cafe and set out to design a flying car.
Dukhovny added that the certification "allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week. This is a one small step for planes, one giant step for cars."