The goal of the collaboration between Archer and Beta is to drive the widespread rollout of an electric charging network that follows standards outlined by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and supports the widespread electrification of aircraft. With that in mind, Archer Aviation has purchased several units of Beta’s CCS fast charging system, specifically two “Charge Cube” systems and several mobile “Mini Cubes.”
Beta’s charging systems are currently in use at 14 locations in the eastern US, and the company wants to install them at an additional 55 locations on the East and Gulf Coasts and at Archer’s flight test facilities in California.
“Fast charging is critical to ensure rapid turnaround times between flights,” says Archer’s founder and CEO Adam Goldstein. “A widespread, fast charging system is critical to ensuring electric air taxis reach scale in the coming years and this collaboration between two industry leaders is an exciting step towards achieving that.”
“Over the past decade, transportation has shifted toward electric and now we’re seeing resonance and viability for aviation to do the same,” says Kyle Clark, BETA’s Founder and CEO. “A backbone of reliable, fast and accessible infrastructure will be critical to enabling this technology, which is why we’ve been focused on building out a charging network alongside our aircraft for some time now. When we designed our chargers, we saw an opportunity to support the entire sector by using an already peer reviewed standard, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with Archer now to validate that aim.”
Archer also signed a memorandum of understanding with Indian company InterGlobe Enterprises. The partners intend to launch and operate an electric flying taxi service in India. The agreement also “also plans to finance the purchase of up to 200 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft for the India operations.”
Archer presented the production version of the Midnight in 2022. The vertical take-off and landing eVTOL is flown by one pilot and can accommodate four passengers. The company’s plan is for the Midnight to be certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2024 and for commercial flight operations to begin in 2025
In 2022, Archer also announced the location for its first production facility. As reported, the plant will be located in Covington, Georgia, next to the local airport and can produce 650 eVTOLs per year.