It is not a chopper, and no, it is not a plane. The eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) is a consumer-level electric aircraft and are currently being tested by many manufacturers including Skydrive, Boeing, Toyota, Airbus, Honda, and even NASA.
The latest news out of the automotive industry is Stellantis, the world’s fifth largest automaker and the name behind brands like Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Maserati to name a few, has partnered with eVTOL maker Archer to provide advanced manufacturing technology and expertise, experienced personnel, and a $150-million capital.
“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,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO.
Stellantis’ and Archer’s partnership will boost the latter’s manufacturing capability in Covington, Georgia, and firm up plans to begin production of the Midnight aircraft by 2024. Together, both companies aim to hasten the manufacturing of eVTOLs and get them ready for commercialization. Stellantis will become Archer’s exclusive contract manufacturer of the Midnight eVTOL.
The Midnight eVTOL has a payload capacity of up to 1,000 pounds (453 kg), can accommodate four passengers (including the pilot), and has a range of 100 miles (161 kilometers). It is designed for short 20-mile (32 kilometers) trips and requires a charging time of 10 minutes in between trips.
“Stellantis’ continued recognition of Archer’s progress toward commercialization, and today’s commitment of significant resources to build the Midnight aircraft with us places Archer in a strong position to be first to market. Our two companies are taking these important steps together to realize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation,” said Adam Goldstein, founder, and CEO of Archer.