Archer Aviation Inc., a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and E-One Moli Energy Corp. (Molicel), an industry-leading supplier of lithium-ion battery cells, have entered into a memorandum of understanding for Molicel to manufacture and supply the battery cells for Archer’s production electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Midnight.
Archer is focused on building an aircraft tailored to the needs of intra-city travel, optimizing its Midnight aircraft to perform back-to-back short distance flights of about 20 miles with approximately 10-minute charging cycles in-between. Batteries are an important consideration in achieving Midnight’s desired payload, range and charging time. The ability to operate 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.
Molicel’s advanced battery technology and fast growing production capacity make them an ideal partner for Archer as it continues on its ramp to commercialization. Last year, Molicel announced plans to establish its first Gigafactory in Taiwan, which is scheduled to ramp up production in 2023. The facility will have the capacity to produce 1.8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually. Molicel’s high-performance cells also offer a significant cycle life when utilized in Archer’s battery pack and, as a result, reduce the long-term operating cost for its Midnight production aircraft. Partnering with a world-class battery supplier that can reliably manufacture cells at scale, allows Archer to reduce its certification risk, as well as its development timelines and costs.
“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,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s CEO. “We’re 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 and further Archer’s mission to unlock the skies – freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time.”
With this relationship with Molicel, Archer continues its push towards commercialization. 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 is devoted to work as battery cells’ key partner for leading players in eVTOL application. By the collaboration with Archer today, it shows a good model 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,” said Casey Shiue, President of Molicel.
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.