A rendering of Archer’s planned electric aircraft, which the company says will be capable of 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph
Fiat Chrysler is teaming up with air mobility company Archer to help lower costs and accelerate the launch of an electric “flying car,” more formally known as a vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
The deal will give California-based Archer access to Fiat Chrysler’s low-cost supply chain, advanced composite material capabilities, engineering and design experience. The companies declined to release financial terms of the partnership.
Unlike traditional planes that use jet engines or helicopters with a large spinning rotor, eVTOL aircraft use electric motors to power rotating wings or smaller rotors, almost like drones, to allow for vertical takeoffs and landings. The aircraft are expected to be used as air taxis for shorter, low-level routes to ease road congestion. Some are being developed as unmanned aircraft without the need for pilots.
Morgan Stanley has said the autonomous urban aircraft market may be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040.
“Electrification within the transportation sector whether on roads or in the air is the future and with any new and rapidly developing technology, scale is important,” Doug Ostermann, Fiat Chrysler’s head of global business development, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Archer has mutual benefits and will enable innovative, environmentally friendly transportation solutions to be brought to market at an accelerated pace.”
Archer’s aircraft is expected to carry passengers for 60 miles at speeds of up to 150 mph while producing minimal noise. It is first expected to be a manned-aircraft with a pilot. The company plans to unveil a demonstrator aircraft later this year, followed by FAA certification by 2024, according to Archer co-founders and co-CEOs Brett