Archer Aviation has chosen Molicel to provide the battery cells for its new Archer Midnight aircraft. E-One Moli Energy Corp. (Molicel), an industry-leading supplier of lithium-ion battery cells, will manufacture and supply the battery cells for Archer’s production of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Midnight. Archer Aviation has been a leader in eVTOL aircraft with a focus on intra-city travel.
Archer’s Midnight aircraft will cover back-to-back short-distance flights of about 20 miles with approximately 10-minute charging cycles in between. In order to achieve its goals, the Midnight needs to be equipped with reliable battery cells that can deliver a high power, low impedance, and have fast charging capabilities. This is especially true in dense, urban areas where advanced battery technology is required to support the eVTOL aircraft.
Molicel has been making advancements in battery technology and has increased its production capacity, which makes it an ideal partner for Archer as it continues to ramp up its commercialization. Molicel announced last year that it was going to establish its first Gigafactory in Taiwan, which is on schedule to ramp up production in 2023. The facility will have the capacity to produce 1.8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity annually. When tested with Archer’s battery pack, the Molicel high-performance cells offered a significant cycle life which helps reduce the long-term operating cost for its Midnight production aircraft.
The partnership will allow Archer to reduce its certification risk, as well as its development timelines and costs, by having a reliable manufacturer that can produce cells at scale.
“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 the addition of Molicel, 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 working as battery cells’ key partner for leading players in eVTOL application. The collaboration with Archer today 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 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 new technology can offer to the world while being sustainable and responsible for the environment,” said Casey Shiue, President of Molicel.
Archer’s discussion to use Molicel’s state-of-the-art battery technology for the Archer Midnight was based upon Molicel’s 40 years of industry-leading experience in the battery industry, as well as its fast-growing production capacity. Molicel has focused on high-performance applications of its batteries with its technology already in use across space, advanced automotive, and power tool applications.
“We continue the push towards commercialization, with the vast majority of our resources focused on completing the development and certification of Midnight, building out our manufacturing and supply chain capabilities, and hardening our go-to-market plans,” said Mark Mesler, Archer’s CFO.
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Source: Clean Technica