Multinational automaker Stellantis announced it is expanding upon a previous partnership with Archer Aviation, adding its manufacturing experience to aid in producing the latter company’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Named “Midnight,” this eVTOL is now planned to be mass produced on US soil.
You’ve probably heard of Stellantis ($STLA), but Archer Aviation might be a new name to you. Archer ($ACHR) is a Santa Clara, California-based eVTOL developer that aims to deploy 6,000 aircraft by 2030. The company specializes in design and development of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, particularly for use in urban air mobility (UAM) networks such as air taxi services.
Since being founded in 2018, Archer has established working relationships with United Airlines, Stellantis, and the United States Air Force. In 2022, the company finished the preliminary design of its Midnight eVTOL, which was unveiled this past December.
Furthermore, Archer intends to manufacture the Midnight aircrafts at its planned facility in Covington, Georgia. Per today’s news, Stellantis is opening up its wallet to help erect the US facility and intends to bringing its manufacturing know-how to Georgia to get the eVTOLs into the air next year.
Stellantis to help build eVTOLs with 100 mile range
According to the press release from Stellantis today, it will expand its partnership with Archer Aviation by providing up to $150 million in equity capital at the eVTOL developer’s discretion through 2024, subject to achievement of certain business milestones this year.
Stellantis shared that it also intends to increase its shares through future purchases of Archer stock in the open market, thus increasing its overall long-term investment in the company and its technology. Speaking of eVTOL technology, Stellantis has no intentions of simply floating Archer’s development.
Instead, the global automaker will also team up with Archer to get the Georgia facility up and running, acting as the latter’s exclusive contract manufacturer of the Midnight eVTOLs as early as 2024. Stellantis hopes to provide expertise and personnel in addition to capital in order to help Archer scale more quickly and hit its delivery targets. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares spoke to the expanded partnership and the company’s scheduled takeoff into eVTOL production:
We’ve been working closely with Archer for the past two years, and I am continually impressed by their ingenuity and unwavering commitment to deliver. Deepening our partnership with Archer as a strategic investor with plans for growing our shareholding demonstrates how Stellantis is pushing the boundaries to provide sustainable freedom of mobility, from the road to the sky. Supporting Archer with our manufacturing expertise is another example of how Stellantis will lead the way the world moves.
The Midnight eVTOL itself is designed to transport four passengers plus a pilot with an expected payload capacity over 1,000 pounds. It can travel 100 miles on a single charge but has been optimized for short back-to-back trips around 20 miles, charging approximately 10 minutes between rides – perfect for air taxi transportation in the UAM segment.
Archer Aviation believes it can be the first company to bring a viable, certified eVTOL to market, and the support of a large manufacturing corporation like Stellantis should certainly help. We will keep eyes on this growing partnership as the Georgia facility is built and, hopefully, Midnight eVTOLs soon follow. You can check out the official debut of the Archer Midnight eVTOL below: