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Fiat Chrysler Signs Deal to Help Flying-Taxi Start-Up Archer

By John Rosevear – Updated Jan 12, 2021 at 1:56PM

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The automaker will help Archer get its air taxi into production more quickly.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) and air-mobility start-up Archer said today that they are teaming up to accelerate the development and launch of Archer's electric air taxi. 

The deal will give the California-based start-up access to Fiat Chrysler's supply chain, experience with composite materials, and engineering and design expertise. 

The companies didn't share the financial terms of their deal. 

Archer's eVTOL, a small aircraft with six electric motors driving propellers.

Archer hopes that FCA can help get its eVTOL into production in 2023. Image source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Archer's air taxi (more precisely known as an eVTOL, for electric vertical takeoff and landing) is powered by electric propeller motors that can rotate, allowing it to take off and land like a helicopter. Aircraft like Archer's are designed for short-range, low-altitude routes, such as those that might be flown by an air-taxi service in cities. In theory, electric power will make eVTOLs much quieter than traditional helicopters.

Archer aims to begin manufacturing its eVTOL in 2023. Company co-founder Brett Adcock said that working with Fiat Chrysler (FCA) will allow his company to "leverage cost benefits and experience ... to produce thousands of aircraft reliably and affordably every single year." 

But why is the automaker involved? FCA vice president Doug Ostermann said in a statement that the company's partnership with Archer "has mutual benefits" as his company works to electrify its product lineup. 

"Electrification within the transportation sector -- whether on roads or in the air -- is the future," Ostermann said. "With any new and rapidly developing technology, scale is important." 

John Rosevear has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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