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Archer eVTOL startup partners with LA to launch flying taxis in 3 years

Los Angeles and Archer want to set up an Urban Air Mobility network for the city to help alleviate congestion problems.

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Archer eVTOL

Is Archer the future of air mobility in LA?

Archer

Archer's made quite a few moves recently. The electric vertical take-off and landing startup announced a partnership with Stellantis back in January, and then said United Airlines signed up for a $1 billion order of the future contraptions. It also plans to go public via a blank-check corporation. Now it has its sights on Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the company said it inked a new partnership with LA to bring an Urban Air Mobility network to the city in just three years.

It's an ambitious time frame, no doubt, but the city and the company aim to reduce on-road congestion with Archer's upcoming eVTOL flying taxi, which it hasn't revealed in full yet. We know the company has plans for a 187 kilowatt-hour battery pack that will give the electric aircraft roughly 60 miles of range and a top speed of 150 mph. With such a short range, it truly is a taxi because it's not taking you far. But it could help riders jump across town quickly.

Part of Archer and LA's efforts will see collaboration with Urban Movement Labs and the LA Department of Transportation to create "vertiports," where passengers board and exit these small electric aircraft. Details on where the sites will call home and how LA plans to integrate the infrastructure weren't mentioned. Again, this sounds like a very ambitious project, but Archer isn't alone in trying to rev up support for an industry just barely off the ground. Numerous rivals also aim for similar air taxi ports across cities and their own eVTOLs to go with them. And while Stellantis backs Archer, there's also rival Joby with Toyota onboard and Uber receiving help from Hyundai, to name a couple.

If these plans shake out, the 2020s may be truly wild.

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