An undated image released by Stellantis NV on January 4, 2023 shows Archer’s vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, named Midnight – Copyright AFP/File JUSTIN TALLIS
Global automaker Stellantis will produce electric “air taxis” developed by US aviation company Archer, it announced Wednesday at the main Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Stellantis will also invest up to $150 million in Archer and its vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed to carry four passengers in addition to the pilot, the company said in a press release.
Called Midnight, the vehicle looks like a small plane with multiple rotors on its wings and is designed to make consecutive trips of around 30 kilometers (20 miles) with a recharge time of about 10 minutes between each trip.
Archer envisions an era of shared air travel, an “Uber or Lyft from the skies,” Vice President Louise Bristow told AFP last year.
The two groups had previously partnered in 2021, but on a more limited scale, with Stellantis expected to provide technical support and access to its supply chain.
This time, Stellantis is expected to mass-produce Archer’s aircraft as an exclusive contract manufacturer in Covington, Georgia, in the eastern United States.
The partnership allows Archer to accelerate production of the aircraft, which is expected to begin in 2024. It is also expected to save the US company “hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses” during production ramp-ups thanks to Stellantis’ expertise. .
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in the statement that he is “continually impressed” by Archer’s “ingenuity and unwavering commitment to deliver.”
The deepening of the partnership between the two companies “demonstrates how Stellantis is pushing the boundaries to deliver sustainable mobility freedom, from the road to the sky,” he continued.
The move “puts Archer in a strong position to be first to market,” Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and chief executive officer, said in the statement.
“Our two companies are taking these important steps together to seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation.”
Archer has already received a pre-order from US airline United Airlines for 200 vehicles.