US eVTOL developer Archer Aviation has opened its battery pack manufacturing site, the first of two plants the company is expected to finalise in 2024. 

The company said the San Jose, California factory will produce as many as 15,000 battery packs each year. It is a highly automated plant, with tasks such as “laser cleaning and laser welding” performed by machines. The firm said it was a “automotive style” production line. 

Instead of outsourcing its parts production, Archer Aviation said it wanted close control to guarantee “rigorous levels of safety, performance and reliability” in its vital battery and power delivery hardware. 

Archer Aviation’s proprietary cylindrical power cells. Credit: Archer Aviation

“Archer’s battery pack implements a proprietary and robust thermal runaway containment strategy,” its statement explained. Details like the shape of power cells (cylindrical) extra safety checks were considered best to take place in-house. 

“This is a major milestone for Archer as designing, developing, and mass producing electric propulsion systems that are purpose built for electric aircraft is the key to unlocking the electrification of aviation” said Tom Muniz, Archer CTO. “The facility will give us the capability to scale our battery pack production to meet the demands of the output that our Covington, Georgia facility will be capable of.”

The company plans to open its “high volume” aircraft factory in Georgia, USA, later in 2024. 

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