COVINGTON, GA—Stellantis NV has agreed to help Archer Aviation Inc. manufacture electric aircraft at the latter’s new assembly plant here.

Archer own’s the factory, but Stellantis will help the aerospace start-up get the operation up and running. The factory will produce the Midnight, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed to serve as an urban air taxi. 

Production is planned to launch in late 2024, when Archer expects to certify the aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The goal is for Stellantis to be the exclusive contract manufacturer of Midnight. The agreement is a collaboration seeking to leverage both partners’ strengths. Archer brings its expertise in the development and certification of electric aircraft, while Stellantis offers experience in mass production in a highly regulated sector.

Stellantis also has opened its pocketbook for the project, committing to provide up to $150 million in equity capital for potential draw by Archer at its discretion in 2023 and 2024, so long as it achieves certain milestones that Archer expects to occur this year.

The agreement could position Archer to be the first eVTOL to market in a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape urban transportation, claims Adam Goldstein, CEO of Archer.

Unveiled in November, the Midnight is an aircraft that can carry a pilot and up to four passengers. It looks like a plane, but launches and lands more like a helicopter since it doesn’t require a runway. The Midnight has a range of 100 miles and was designed for back-to-back short distance trips of around 20 miles with a charging time of 10 minutes in-between. It is capable of carrying more than 1,000 pounds and can travel at speeds up to 150 mph.

For more on urban air mobility, read a feature article from ASSEMBLYhere.