© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Adam Goldstein (R) and Brett Adcock, co-founders and co-CEOs of flying taxi company Archer Aviation, pose for a picture as they rehearse for the unveiling of their all-electric aircraft from a facility in Hawthorne, California, U.S. June 8, 20
By Aishwarya Nair
(Reuters) – Archer Aviation Inc said it aims to make about 250 battery-electric air taxis in 2025 and scale up production in the following years, after setting a goal of getting its aircraft certified by the end of 2024.
“In our first year, we will build 250 aircraft, our second year will build 500 aircraft, our third year will build 650 aircraft and then we scale it up to around 2,000 aircraft per year,” CEO Adam Goldstein told Reuters in an interview.
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Archer aims to certify its pilot-plus-four-passenger aircraft, ‘Midnight’, by end-2024, though the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is still in the process of drawing up certification rules for these futuristic aircraft.
“In terms of aircraft production, we have estimated in our Archer model ~20 units in 2025,” JPM analyst Bill Peterson said.
“We are not negative on the space, but think it will take a little longer to play out with the ramp not as steep as these companies had projected in their SPAC decks from over a year ago,” he added.
Archer shares haven fallen 54% so far this year.
Once certified, the California-based start-up’s electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft will compete in a crowded market with dozens of other developers such as Joby Aviation Inc and Vertical Aerospace Ltd vying to revamp urban transportation.
The nascent sector, which is backed by industrial heavyweights such as Toyota Motor (NYSE:) Corp and Delta Air Lines (NYSE:), still faces significant challenges relating to certification, developing a suitable air traffic management system and battery technology improvements, among others.
In May, the FAA said it was modifying its regulatory approach in certifying eVTOLs by defining them as powered-lift aircraft rather than small airplanes, injecting concerns over certification delays.
Goldstein anticipates the industry may see demand for a thousand eVTOL aircraft on an annual basis.