Over six months after expanding upon an existing partnership to bring mass production of eVTOLs to the US, Stellantis and Archer Aviation have shared a progress update. The partnership has now moved from the “concept phase” to the “execution phase” as its high-volume eVTOL production facility continues construction in Georgia.
Stellantis ($STLA) is a name we cover often on Electrek, both good and bad – but it wasn’t until earlier this year that we started covering electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft developer Archer Aviation ($ACHR) and its “Midnight” vessel, which was unveiled last December.
Since its inception in 2018, Archer Aviation has established working relationships with United Airlines, Stellantis, and the United States Air Force. Building off these early relationships with some big hitters in aviation and high-volume production, Archer shared plans to manufacture the Midnight aircrafts at a new facility in Covington, Georgia.
This past January, we learned that existing partner Stellantis is opening up its wallet to help erect the US facility and get the Midnight eVTOLs into the air by 2024. Today, from the 2023 Paris Air Show, the partners shared a progress update with the public, which includes construction, collaboration, and fresh stock acquisition.
Stellantis to help support up to 2,300 eVTOLs per year
The two companies shared the progress update via press release this morning, coinciding with a public display of Archer’s Midnight eVTOL at the 2023 Paris Air Show. According to Stellantis, construction of the eVTOL manufacturing facility is underway amongst roughly 100 acres in Georgia.
As the manufacturing facilities are erected and opened, Archer and Stellantis plan to leverage their respective strengths – eVTOL design and development and high-volume vehicle manufacturing, respectively – to rapidly scale US production and achieve Urban Air Mobility (UAM) commercialization. Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein spoke:
At Archer, our goal is not just to get to commercialization, but to achieve it at scale. High-volume manufacturing is critical to ensuring we can meet this goal and joining forces with one of the leading mobility companies in the world is helping us realize the once-in-a-generation opportunity we have to redefine urban transportation. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve already accomplished with this partnership as we continue to lead the industry in building out manufacturing capabilities.
Building off its existing relationship with the eVTOL developer, Stellantis shared it has also increased its strategic shareholding of Archer Aviation through a series of stock purchases on the open market. The automotive conglomerate did not immediately share details of the size of those stock purchases but said it intends to remain a minority shareholder.
Stellantis states that it has experienced personnel from its own team working full-time alongside the group at Archer Aviation to work through vital areas for scaled commercialization, including manufacturing automation, engineering, supply chain sourcing, and human resources. Together, the parties intend to bring the Georgia facility online by mid-2024. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares also spoke to the progress of the partnership:
We believe this unique partnership is setting the standard for cross-industry collaboration and continues to be a key pillar of our strategy to ensure Stellantis leads the way the world moves, providing freedom of mobility in all ways. With our trusted teams onsite working shoulder-to-shoulder with Archer, I have no doubt that we are on the right path.
Stellantis finished up by sharing that initial manufacturing operations in Georgia are expected to produce up to 650 eVTOL aircraft per year with room for expansion to support up to 2,300 in all. According to the automaker, manufacturing eVTOLs at those max volumes would make the US site the world’s leading aircraft manufacturing facility by volume. The partners provided the following video of the US eVTOL manufacturing site in addition to the renderings seen above. Check it out.