Swedish company Jetson launches One, its new flying car available for $136,000

The Jetson One flying car
The company says it's aiming to "make the skies available for everyone". Photo credit: Supplied / Jetson

Anyone who has dreamed of commuting to work in their own flying vehicle may be a step closer to realising those dreams with the launch of a new mini aircraft/car.

The One, designed by Swedish company Jetson, is a just-released aluminium and carbon fibre personal craft, powered by eight electric motors.

The company says it's aiming to "make the skies available for everyone with our safe personal electric aerial vehicle".

A prototype of the vehicle was first created in 2018 with the company working on a consumer version ever since, culminating in the commercial launch of the One.

The One is now available for the equivalent of NZ$136,000 and is supplied as a partially assembled kit that purchasers need to finish at home. However, any Kiwis who may be tempted by the idea might find they're in for a bit of a wait.

Jetson's order book for 2022 is already full and there are just three slots left in their 2023 production calendar at the time of publishing.

No one from New Zealand has yet purchased one according to the company's website, although orders have been received and deposits paid from Australia, Italy, Finland and Japan among other countries.

Any Kiwis wishing to do so might want to check with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the legality of the One in Aotearoa first, however.

The One will fly at a maximum of 102km/h as it's limited by the software and could be increased in the future.

It has a maximum fly time of 20 minutes and takes between one and two hours to charge depending on the size of the charger.

It weighs in at just 86kg and is capable of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), meaning there's no need for runways.

The craft is able to fly safely if it loses a motor but also contains a rapid deployment parachute for emergencies.

It also uses LIDAR sensors to track the terrain and avoid obstacles.

The One is significantly cheaper than the hoverbike released by Japanese company ALI Technologies in October.

The XTurismo Limited Edition has a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors and flies for 40 minutes at up to 100 km/h but costs around $950,000 to purchase.

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng also announced plans for a flying car this year, with hopes that its NZ$220,000 X2 vehicle will be available by 2024.

The X2 will fly for 35 minutes at an altitude of less than a kilometre. It has enough room for two passengers and can fly at a maximum speed of 130 km/h.

It's also designed to be autonomous, with the press of a button controlling take-off and landing, while an autopilot will be in charge during flight.