Stellantis to build electric planes with U.S. startup Archer

Stellantis will work with Archer Aviation to help build electric vertical take-off aircraft and will increase its stake in the U.S. company, the companies said Wednesday.

Industrial companies and start-ups are flocking to invest in flying taxis. Air taxis can take off and land vertically to take travelers to airports or make short trips between cities to beat traffic jams.

Capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot with a range of 100 miles (161 km), Archer’s vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) Midnight aircraft will be built in Covington, Georgia, starting in 2024.

Designed for continuous short trips of about 20 miles, with a charging time of about 10 minutes between.

“Stelantis’ goal is to mass-produce Archer’s eVTOL aircraft as an exclusive contract manufacturer,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Stellantis, formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA Group, will provide equity capital of up to $150 million, at Archer’s discretion in 2023 and 2024, contingent on achieving certain business milestones, including certification To do.

Stellantis also intends to increase its existing stake in Archer through an open market share purchase.

“These actions, along with other elements of this expanded partnership, will enable Stellantis to become a long-term and significant investor in Archer,” the companies said.

Archer founder and CEO Adam Goldstein says the partnership with Stellantis makes the manufacturing process “risk-free.” “There are real advantages to deepening our partnership with Stellantis, who know how to supply vehicles in bulk,” he said in a conference call with journalists on Wednesday.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said the automaker will invest in Archer for the first time in 2021. He said the cheap air his taxi idea fits his Stellantis goal of finding innovative solutions for accessible mobility. “Supporting freedom of movement is why we exist,” he said.

Goldstein said the cost of travel is similar to current car taxis, but could drop as scale increases. Last month, Archer said his 10-minute flight from Manhattan to Newark Airport in New Jersey could cost $100 per seat.

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