Archer, a company that’s looking to develop an airline of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for use in urban transport, will work with automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in a new partnership to benefit from the latter’s expertise in engineering, design, supply chain and materials science. Archer aims to start production of its eVTOLs at scale beginning in 2023, with an initial unveiling to occur early this year.
The new team-up will see FCA provide input that contributes to the design of Archer’s eVTOL cockpit, as well, another area where the automaker has ample expertise, since it has designed spaces for drivers for many decades in its automotive business. Archer’s aircraft will be powered by an electric motor, and will be able to fly for up to 60 miles at top speeds of 150 mph. The Archer eVTOL is designed to be quiet and efficient, with efforts from the FCA collaboration going toward lowering the cost of its manufacturing to make high-volume manufacturing achievable and sustainable.
Ultimately, Archer is looking to FCA to help it realize efficiencies in its process that can make bringing its eVTOL to market a sound business that can also be accessed affordably by end users. Palo Alto-based Archer is looking to ultimately scale production to the point where it can produce “thousands” of its eVTOL aircraft per year, for use in future air taxi services serving cities globally.
Based in Palo Alto and led by co-founders Brett Adcock and Adam Goldstein, and including industry executives like Chief Engineer Geoff Bower, who previously served in that role at Airbus’ Vahana eVTOL initiative, Archer launched out of stealth earlier this year with backing from Marc Lore, current president and CEO of Walmart’s e-commerce business (he was co-founder and CEO of Jet when it was acquired by the retailer).