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Chinese ‘flying car’ makes test flight, micro-apartments in Japan and what matters in the market


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‘Flying car’ in the air

A “flying car” built by Chinese manufacturer Xpeng made its first public flight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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The unmanned test flight lasted 90 minutes and is one of the steps towards the commercial launch of the aircraft, which holds two people and is powered by eight engines with propellers.

Understand: Xpeng’s model is an eVTOL, an electric aircraft with vertical take-off and landing. It is considered a cheaper, quieter and less polluting alternative to helicopters.

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Brazilian version: Eve, created at Embraer, is one of the strong competitors in this market.

  • It began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in May, but the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer remains its parent company.
  • At the time of the IPO, it was valued at $2.4 billionsimilar to the current level.
  • In September, the American airline United Airlines invested US$ 15 million in Eve and also announced the order of 400 units of eVTOLs. The Brazilian has already received more than 2,000 orders.

Step by step: Eve has not yet reached the same stage as the Chinese Xpeng. It is in the process of being certified to start with unmanned flights. Then come the test trips with people on board, and then start operating commercially.

  • The first deliveries are scheduled for 2026.

Tokyo’s ‘Shoebox’ Apartments

Less expensive real estate, a secluded lifestyle and a priority for living in a good location are among the reasons for young Japanese to live in 9 m² “shoebox” apartments in Tokyo.

Understand: made for one person (with a stove with a burner and toaster for a slice of bread), these properties are not the cheapest in Tokyo, but they suit the routine of young Japanese people used to working hard and spending little time at home.

At least the ceiling height is high (3.60 meters), which makes it possible to place the bed at a higher level.

In numbers: These tiny apartments have been operated since 2015 by a real estate company that has 100 buildings and more than 1,500 residents and rent for $340 to $630 a month.

The reality is not far for some Brazilians. In São Paulo, there are apartments for 10 m² with price of BRL 200 thousand. According to the developer Vitacon, they are the smallest in Latin America.

  • They went viral in July, in a video of a realtor on Tiktok (watch) presenting the unfurnished apartment in 39 seconds.
  • The property is intended for an audience formed by young singles, students or professionals, who choose to live in a central region and have practicality in their daily lives.

Market share below pre-pandemic

Despite the drop in the percentage of unemployed to below 9%, the participation rate in the labor market remains behind the pre-pandemic level in Brazil, according to IBGE data.

Understand: this rate considers people aged 14 and over who are either employed (formal and informal employment) or looking for work.

In numbers: in the quarter to August of this year, the participation rate reached 62.7%an advance over the same period in 2020 (57%), but still behind the 63.7% quarter to August 2019.

What explains? experts heard by Sheet highlight some factors to try to understand this drop in relation to the pre-pandemic period:

  • The health crisis, which has led to job destruction, may have discouraged people from looking for work or accelerated the retirement of older professionals.

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