November 9, 2023
An eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) company and a travel conglomerate have partnered to launch an all-electric air taxi service across in India.
Archer Aviation and InterGlobe Enterprises signed a memorandum of understanding to launch and operate the service across India.
The companies also plan to explore additional use cases for the electric aerial vehicles (EAV) including cargo, logistics, medical and emergency services and charter services.
The Archer Midnight vehicle is designed to carry a pilot and four passengers with the intent of making rapid back-and-forth flights, with short battery charging times in between.
Archer’s stated goal is to replace car trips of up to 90 minutes with electric air taxi flights of up to 20 minutes.
The plan is to fly passengers on the 17-mile trip from Connaught Place to Gurugram, typically taking up to 90 minutes by car, in about seven minutes.
“I founded Archer with the vision to help decongest the world’s largest cities,” said Archer’s CEO and founder Adam Goldstein. “India is one of, if not the largest opportunity for eVTOL aircraft utilization in the world, as it is home to the world’s largest population of over 1.4 billion people and its largest cities face some of the greatest congestion challenges in the world. Archer’s all-electric Midnight aircraft is designed to provide a revolutionary transportation solution that can help address these congestion issues.”
In the U.S., Archer plans to begin official testing of Midnight, working to meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.
Archer recently signed agreements to build a high-volume manufacturing facility for its EAVs.
Construction has already begun on the 350,000-square-foot facility supporting the production of up to 650 aircraft annually, believed to be the largest EAV aircraft manufacturing facility by volume.
Another flying taxi company, Joby Aviation, recently selected Dayton, Ohio, for its large-scale aircraft production facility to deliver up to 500 EAVs a year.
That site is large enough to build up to 2 million square feet of manufacturing space.
The first phase of the Archer facility is scheduled to be completed in 2024, with the planned flying vehicle entry into service in 2025.
The next phase at the location would include the capability to expand to 900,000 square feet to support making more than 2,000 aircraft per year.
Archer has partnered with Honeywell and Safran for a majority of its Midnight aircraft components.
Archer recently received the first $1 million as part of a $142 million deal with the U.S. Air Force, which is working with Archer to assess the eVTOL vehicle market and technologies for Department of Defense purposes.
Archer recently received funding of $215 million, bringing the total investment in its EAV development to $1.1 billion.
That funding came from investors including Boeing, United Airlines, Stellantis and Ark Investment Management.
The Archer EAV is designed to carry 1,000 pounds with a low noise profile.
Archer is also working with United Airlines and last year received a $10 million pre-delivery payment from United for 100 aircraft, according to the company.
“Over the last two decades, InterGlobe has been involved in providing safe, efficient and affordable transportation to hundreds of millions of Indians across the country,” said Rahul Bhatia, group managing director of InterGlobe. “ We are excited at this new opportunity of bringing an effective, futuristic and sustainable transport solution by introducing Archer’s electric aircraft to India.”
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