- Stellantis announced last week it would help Archer Aviation produce its flagship electric air taxi, which is designed to carry passengers short distances in urban areas.
- Through an expanded partnership, the automaker will help stand up Archer’s planned manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia. Stellantis will contribute advanced manufacturing technology, expertise and personnel and up to $150 million in capital.
- The collaboration is meant to enable Archer to quickly scale to meet its production targets without spending hundreds of millions of dollars. Stellantis said the companies plan to start manufacturing the aircraft in 2024.
Stellantis is expected to mass produce Archer’s electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft Midnight as the startup’s exclusive contract manufacturer, according to the news release.
The automaker has been a strategic partner to the startup since 2020, allowing Archer to leverage its manufacturing, supply chain and design expertise on its journey to bring its eVTOL aircraft to market.
The expanded partnership comes as automakers increasingly position themselves as mobility companies, not just auto companies, according to Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Cox Automotive.
“[Stellantis] CEO Carlos Tavares, in his CES speech this week, said his company is becoming a mobility tech company,” she said in an email. “As for history, automotive companies have taken to the air at times. Henry Ford developed aircraft. Chrysler, part of Stellantis, once owned Gulfstream.”
An investor since 2021, Stellantis is now upping its commitment to the air taxi company, freeing up $150 million in equity capital for use by Archer so long as certain milestones are reached, the release said.
“We’ve been working closely with Archer for the past two years,” Tavares said in a statement. “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 sky.”
The aircraft is designed for back-to-back short distance trips, with a range of 100 miles and a charging time of approximately 10 minutes. United Airlines has partnered with Archer on its first commercial route from downtown Manhattan to Newark Liberty International Airport once the air taxis are operational.
With Stellantis’ help, Archer will build out a 350,000-square-foot facility capable of producing 650 aircraft per year. The facility, expected to be completed in the first half of 2024, will have room to expand 550,000 square feet and support production of up to 2,300 aircraft annually.
“Supporting Archer with our manufacturing expertise is another example of how Stellantis will lead the way the world moves,” Tavares said.