The rise of eVTOLs: Are flying cars finally taking off?

Archer aviation (

In the year 2023, the long-awaited era of flying cars has shifted from the realm of science fiction to a tangible reality, albeit in prototype form.

Archer Aviation, supported by Stellantis, is at the forefront of this emerging technology, actively progressing toward high-volume production of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has expressed strong commitment to bringing scalable manufacturing of Archer’s eVTOLs online by mid-2024.

Stellantis has not only provided $150 million in capital over two years but also opened its manufacturing base and supply chain to Archer. This partnership aims to revolutionize urban transportation by introducing eVTOLs capable of covering short hops of approximately 20 miles, with a maximum range of 100 miles when carrying a pilot and four passengers. While this range may seem comparable to existing Stellantis vehicles, the automaker believes eVTOLs align with the broader electrification trends in the automotive industry.

Archer has already completed its first functional eVTOL, the Archer Midnight, intended for testing, including a scheduled first flight in the summer. The company has ambitious production targets, aiming to manufacture up to 650 aircraft annually, with plans to increase that number to 2300 per year. This vision anticipates rapid growth in the eVTOL industry, potentially reshaping urban transportation.

However, several significant questions loom over the eVTOL industry’s future. While eVTOLs are quieter and expected to have lower running costs per hour compared to traditional helicopters, their viability depends on factors such as route demand and competition from Level 4 robotaxis. As robotaxis become more affordable and convenient, the demand for short eVTOL rides between points may face challenges, even for routes that traditionally relied on helicopters, like Manhattan to the Hamptons.

The race for the future of urban air transportation may ultimately be a competition between eVTOLs and robotaxis, as the world inches closer to the era of flying cars.