Aircraft

Fiat Chrysler throws its weight behind Archer's eVTOL project

Fiat Chrysler throws its weigh...
Archer is a relatively new name in the eVTOL space with a highly experienced team on board
Archer is a relatively new name in the eVTOL space with a highly experienced team on board
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Archer is a relatively new name in the eVTOL space with a highly experienced team on board
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Archer is a relatively new name in the eVTOL space with a highly experienced team on board

Palo Alto's Archer Aviation may be fairly fresh out of the blocks in its tilt at the emerging eVTOL air taxi market, but it's assembling some heavy hitters in its corner with today's announcement that it's partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA).

As part of the deal, Archer will "benefit from access to FCA’s low-cost supply chain, advanced composite material capabilities, and engineering and design experience," and it gives FCA the chance to dip its toe into an upcoming urban transport sector projected to be worth as much as US$1.5 trillion in 20 years.

This isn't the first car company to get involved in eVTOLs; Toyota has put a staggering amount of cash and resources behind Joby Aviation, Hyundai has created an entire Urban Air Mobility division and built its own air taxi concept, and every car company worth its salt has rendered up at least one electric air taxi to put on video loop with the weird e-scooters, taxi pods and car sharing apps at its CES "mobility of the future" stand.

The Archer-FCA deal is more of an exploratory design and engineering partnership than a proverbial backing-up of the truck, but it certainly lends further credence to Archer's operation. In a sector where a lot of ideas and hot air are thrown around, Archer hasn't even released a render of its 12-rotor transitioning eVTOL air taxi. But it has thrown serious money at talent, hiring top-level team members away from the likes of Vahana, Joby and Wisk. This is a serious and well-funded operation.

With an office right by Palo Alto airport and an 80 percent scale demonstrator expected to fly this year, Archer is promising a four-seat airframe flying at least 60 miles (96 km) at speeds up to 150 mph (240 km/h) on a large, 143-kWh battery pack. We look forward to learning more.

Source: FCA

3 comments
3 comments
Towerman
Not sure how practical EVTOL's with wings is going to be in the long term, it's basically just a plane with helicopter landing ability but footprint wise just as big or bigger. Don't get me wrong, i welcome the concepts they look great and i'm sure they will be put to use so by all means keep on with the development. I want to see them fly and put to commercial use !

At the end they will be experimental material and testing machines for enhancing the power system efficiency, until we are at the stage where pure evtol's can have a power system that will give them 300-500 mile range, then "winged" evtol's will be history (but a welcome temporary step at assisting the development of the power system for the main players Joby, SKAI, CityHawk, VOLO, EHANG. They will be the long term future trophee holders.
guzmanchinky
I seriously cannot wait for an electric energy source with double the energy density so we can go further with these machines. Bring on the human carrying drones!
Kevin Ritchey
I’m wondering exactly how much input Fiat/Chrysler will have as they don’t have the best history of reliability in anything mechanical. Just saying...