EHang has announced a strategic partnership with Qingdao West Coast New Area, one of China’s national new areas in Shandong province, which comes with a binding $10 million equity investment.

EHang plans to develop the urban air mobility (UAM) market in Qingdao to make Qingdao a world-class UAM application demonstration area, and to establish a Northeast Asia regional headquarters, as well as a national firefighting business centre in Qingdao West Coast New Area.

Qingdao West Coast New Area will facilitate the local governments’ applications of EHang’s products while providing support to the Company’s local business operations, sales and services, production and infrastructure construction.

Qingdao West Coast New Area’s investment arm will initially invest a total of$10 million in the Company through a private placement of newly issued Class A ordinary shares, with the purchase price based on the average of the closing sales prices of its American depositary shares for the 30 trading days immediately preceding December 21, 2022.

The private placement is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, subject to the receipt of certain investment-related regulatory approvals and clearances in China and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

Guilong Shi, Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee of Qingdao West Coast New Area, said: “EHang’s products and fleet operations are fully in line with Qingdao’s development requirements for smart, eco-friendly and highly efficient UAM solutions.

“We believe it will be a ‘win-win’ cooperation with our joint efforts to advance high-end industries and aviation sectors in Qingdao and to create a beneficial UAM industrial ecosystem.”

EHang Chief Operating Officer Xin Fang added: “This partnership is a significant milestone for EHang’s long-term growth. With more funding and strong product demands in the Qingdao local market.

“EHang expects to accelerate the development of Qingdao’s autonomous aerial vehicle industry through new aviation business and low-altitude economy. We believe our cooperation will propel Qingdao to be a world-class, innovative UAM application demonstration area with comprehensive AAV industrial chains and commercial operations.”

Last month, EHang announced that its EH216 AAV completed its inaugural flight by the Spanish National Police at the National Academy in Ávila, Spain.

In November, EHang signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong-based Aircraft Engineering Company, HAECO Group, to explore advanced aerial mobility.