In recent years, electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL) have gained a lot of attention. There is a growing number of eVTOL manufacturers that are striving to develop taxi-aeroplanes with the capability of travelling long distances. To get into the race, Amsterdam-headquartered automaker Stellantis N.V. announced that it would join forces with Archer Aviation Inc. to manufacture the California-based startup’s flagship eVTOL aircraft, Midnight.
Around 20 miles in 10 mins charging
Together, Stellantis and Archer will set up Archer’s recently announced manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, where the Midnight aircraft will be manufactured in 2024. With a payload of over 1,000 pounds, Midnight can transport four passengers plus a pilot, all in a safe, sustainable, and quiet manner. Designed for back-to-back short-distance trips of around 20 miles with a charging time of approximately 10 minutes, Midnight has a range of 100 miles.
This unique partnership in the urban air mobility industry will leverage each company’s respective strengths and competencies to bring the Midnight aircraft to market. Archer brings its world-class team of eVTOL, electric powertrain and certification experts, while Stellantis will contribute advanced manufacturing technology and expertise, experienced personnel and capital to the partnership. This combination is intended to enable the rapid scaling of aircraft production to meet Archer’s commercialization plans, while allowing Archer to strengthen its path to commercialization by helping it avoid hundreds of millions of dollars of spending during the manufacturing ramp-up phase. The goal is for Stellantis to mass produce Archer’s eVTOL aircraft as its exclusive contract manufacturer.
$150 million in equity capital
As a further sign of its commitment, Stellantis will provide up to $150 million in equity capital for a potential draw by Archer at its discretion in 2023 and 2024, subject to the achievement of certain business milestones which Archer expects to occur in 2023. Stellantis also intends to increase its strategic shareholding through future purchases of Archer stock in the open market. These actions, along with the other elements of this expanded partnership, will enable Stellantis to become a long-term, cornerstone investor in Archer.
“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,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “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.”
“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,” said Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer. “Our two companies are taking these important steps together to realize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine urban transportation.”
Stellantis has been a strategic partner to Archer since 2020 through various collaboration initiatives, and as an investor since 2021. During this time, Archer has leveraged Stellantis’ deep manufacturing, supply chain, and design expertise in connection with Archer’s efforts to design, develop, and commercialize its eVTOL aircraft.