It’s Official: Stellantis Will Manufacture the Midnight Flying Taxi

Stellantis is officially the exclusive contract manufacturer for Archer's Midnight eVTOL 9 photos
Photo: Archer Aviation
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If anyone was still a non-believer when it came to eVTOLs (electric take-off and landing) and the prospect of regular flying taxi operations, this particular project should dissipate all remaining doubts. It’s not just about an ambitious aircraft developer, but about two other big names involved in the project. United Airlines will be the one that operates Archer Aviation’s Midnight eVTOL, while Stellantis will be the official manufacturer – a truly unique partnership in the industry.
Among eVTOL developers, Archer Aviation had the unique advantage of being backed by an automotive player for two years now. And things are only getting better, as this interesting collaboration is taking one step further. Back in 2020, Stellantis became a strategic partner to Archer, moving up to the investor role, one year later.

This had already given Archer access to the automotive brand’s supply chain and design expertise, but a new phase of this collaboration makes Stellantis the exclusive contract manufacturer for Archer’s eVTOL, as well.

Named Midnight, the series production aircraft was officially introduced at the end of last year. A four-passenger air taxi (plus the pilot) this flying machine boasts a proprietary 12-tilt-six configuration, an all-electric powertrain, and a payload of more than 1,000 lb (454 kg). It’s not only emissions-free, but also remarkably quiet (thanks to the fact that its propellers can move at a lower speed) and able to carry out short-distance flights (around 20 miles/32 km) on a single charge.

With a 10-minute charging time between flights, and the claim that its simplified electric propulsion system makes it safer than conventional alternatives, Midnight has the potential to enable regular commercial operations. Another design highlight is its sustainability, with recycled plastic bottles and natural materials, such as flax fiber, used for cabin construction.

These features were impressive enough to convince United Airlines to commit to purchasing 100 units of the Midnight eVTOL. Now that it has secured a major customer, Archer can focus on series production.

This is where Stellantis will make a huge difference, bringing its manufacturing technology, specialized personnel, plus the funds. Large-scale manufacturing means serious money, something that can become an issue for small eVTOL startups. Archer is lucky enough to count on Stellantis for that, with even more millions coming up over the next two years, in equity capital.

The goal is to scale up production, and do so as fast as possible. Archer’s new manufacturing facility in Covington, Georgia, is where the Midnight eVTOL will kick off the production process.

Like all eVTOL designers, Archer still has to make sure it obtains the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification, which is expected to happen next year. If things go well, the Stellantis-manufactured Midnight should be ready to enter service with United by 2025.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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