DroneLife recently learned from a credible source that EHANG is looking at bankruptcy.
EHANG is (was?) a drone manufacturer with offices in San Francisco and Beijing that received $52 million in venture funding. The initial lead investor was GGV Capital. The company soared to public attention with the announcement of the EHANG 184 at CES a couple years ago. The EHANG 184 was to be the first drone to carry passengers. The announcement received extensive press coverage but as time went on skepticism grew.
In a post on this site in late 2016 it was reported:
Still, the company seemed to be pushing forward with the concept, albeit slowly: Nevada gave Ehang permission to test the 184 (with FAA approval) in June, but so far no tests have been reported.
Now, reveals Engadget, Ehang admits that it has not yet performed a single test flight in the US. In addition, it seems to be suffering from financial problems which don’t bode well for the company’s consumer drone, Ghost: Ehang has laid off about 70 employees (out of about 300) and seems to be dealing with fiscal problems resulting in missed payments to suppliers, among other financial woes.
But wait . . . early this year it appeared those concerns were for naught. In February of this year EHANG had an agreement with Dubai to use the EHANG 184 as a taxi service.
We have been told that the company is exiting the consumer business and that all but a few engineers have been let go. While EHANG is best known for its air taxi, it also had a line of consumer drones. Calls and emails to EHANG executives and board members seeking confirmation and comment have not yet been returned. A call to support went to voicemail. There have been no posts to the EHANG Facebook page since last April.
We will continue our attempts to verify EHANG’s status. However, it looks like EHANG has hit significant head wind. It will not be the first drone firm to re-evaluate its mission and reassess where it goes from here.