Archer Aviation and Molicel have entered into an agreement for Molicel to supply lithium-ion battery cells for its Midnight eVTOL aircraft to perform back-to-back short distance flights of about 20 miles with approximately 10-minute charging cycles in-between.

Operating eVTOL aircraft in dense, urban environments requires state-of-the-art, reliable battery cells that can deliver high power, low impedance and fast charging capabilities.

Last year, Molicel announced plans to establish its first Gigafactory in Taiwan, which is scheduled to ramp up production in 2023 and will have the capacity to produce 1.8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually. Partnering with a battery supplier that can reliably manufacture cells at scale allows Archer to reduce its certification risk, as well as its development timelines and costs.

Archer CEO Adam Goldstein said: “Molicel understands that safety and reliability are paramount but that we still must ensure we are living up to our shared values of social responsibility and sustainability.

“We are proud to leverage Molicel’s 40+ years of high volume manufacturing experience in the battery industry to deliver on the promise of the electrification of the aviation industry.”

Archer now has more than 64% of its suppliers for its bill-of-materials selected, including many global leaders in the design, development and manufacturing of aircraft components.

Molicel president Casey Shiue said: “The collaboration with Archer today shows that our high performance power cell technology, state-of-the-art commercial production capabilities and expansion plans are key values that we add on to partners.

“We hope to see the great impact that Midnight will introduce to the marketplace technology wise, safety wise and most importantly, to prove a profitable business model which a new technology can offer to the world while being sustainable and responsible for the environment.”

Molicel’s 40 years of industry leading experience in the battery industry, as well as its fast growing production capacity, were decisive factors in Archer’s decision to select Molicel to supply batteries for Midnight.

Molicel focuses on demanding, high-performance applications of its batteries, with its technology already in use across space, advanced automotive and power tool applications.

Archer Aviation today publicly unveiled Midnight, a pilot-plus-four-passenger eVTOL aircraft, in Palo Alto, California.

Yesterday, Archer Aviation and Garmin entered into an agreement for Garmin to supply the G3000 integrated flight deck for Archer’s Midnight Production Aircraft.