Tesla's Musk applauds Lilium's 5-seater electric air taxis | RenewEconomy

Tesla’s Musk applauds Lilium’s 5-seater electric air taxis

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Tesla CEO praises Lilium’s electric “air taxi” but says vertical-takeoff-and-landing is a “hard problem”.

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The Driven

A futuristic, all-electric jet made by German company Lilium has been praised by Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk.

The vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) jet, which made a very brief maiden flight earlier this month, hit the news again last week when Lilium released a video of the 5-seater “air taxi” in flight (see video at bottom of this article).

With a sleek and simple design that utilises 36 all-electric engines that allow it to take off and land without the need for a runway, aircraft such as these are under development by a number of companies around the world and may one day become an air-based alternative in cities to land-based taxis.

While there is some concern about how realistic they are as an answer to issues of road-based traffic and congestion, Lilium has attracted the attention of electric transport entrepreneur Musk, who commented via social media channel Twitter that he thinks the design is “good”.

However at the same time, the Tesla CEO admitted that while he has been thinking about a VTOL jet himself (and said as much in an interview with Recode Decode’s Kara Swisher last year, it is a “hard problem”.

To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…

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