Flying Cars and eVTOLs - Technology Advancements, Powertrain Architectures, and Design

Niraja Swaminathan, Siddavatam Ravi Prakash Reddy, Kaushik Rajashekara, Kiruba S. Haran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flying cars and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft could become the future of personal transportation and taxis, which would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Presently, over 250 companies are developing flying cars and eVTOLs, and at least a few vehicles are expected to be commercialized soon. This article presents the current trends and technology of VTOL flight mechanisms and identifies the vehicles in each category to evaluate their advantages and limitations. Most of the flying cars that are being developed do not have VTOL capability because of the requirement for high power during takeoff/landing for a roadworthy vehicle. This article proposes the powertrain architectures for incorporating VTOL capability for flying cars based on dual power sources, such as fuel cells and batteries. Besides, possibilities of using a single propulsion system for both drive and flight modes are explored. General design guidelines are presented for the proposed powertrain architecture to estimate the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), power/energy demands, and source capacities. Furthermore, the technologies of the powertrain components, such as electric motors and power converters, are also discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4105-4117
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Transportation Electrification
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • Battery
  • electric motors
  • electric vertical takeoff and landings (eVTOLs)
  • flight mechanism
  • flying cars
  • fuel cell
  • powertrain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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