Stellantis, a merger between Fiat Chrysler and the French PSA Group, and Archer Aviation have agreed to significantly expand their partnership by joining forces to manufacture Archer’s flagship Midnight electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Stellantis will work with the startup to construct and equip Archer’s recently announced manufacturing facility in Covington, GA. The companies plan to begin manufacturing the Midnight aircraft there in 2024.
Midnight is designed to be safe, sustainable, and quiet, stressed Archer. Its expected payload of over 1,000 pounds will allow the eVTOL to carry four passengers plus a pilot. With a range of 100 miles, Midnight is optimized for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20 miles, and a charging time of approximately 10 minutes in-between.
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 team of eVTOL, electric powertrain, and certification experts while Stellantis will contribute advanced manufacturing 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 the company 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 the exclusive contract manufacturer.
Stellantis will also provide up to $150 million in equity capital for potential draw by Archer in 2023 and 2024, subject to certain business milestones that Archer expects to achieve in 2023. Stellantis also intends to increase its strategic shareholding through future purchases of Archer stock.
“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,” said Tavares.
“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.