Setting standards: BETA and Archer agree ‘industry-first’ charger deal


BETA Technologies has agreed an industry-first deal to supply its electric aircraft chargers to Archer. 

Archer will use two of BETA’s Charge Cubes at its flight test bases, as well as an undisclosed number of Mini Cube mobile charging systems which can be deployed as required. BETA’s charging systems are in use at 14 locations across the eastern US and work is underway to install them at another 55 locations along the East and Gulf Coasts, as well as in California for Archer.

Gaining access to BETA’s network is a key part of Archer’s plan to build profit-making operations. “Fast charging is critical to ensure rapid turnaround times between flights,” said Adam Goldstein, Archer’s founder and CEO. “A widespread, fast charging system is critical to ensuring electric air taxis reach scale in the coming years and this collaboration between two industry leaders is an exciting step towards achieving that.”

A backbone of reliable, fast and accessible infrastructure will is critical to getting electric aircraft flying commercially, said Kyle Clark, BETA’s founder and CEO. “Which is why we’ve been focused on building out a charging network alongside our aircraft for some time now. When we designed our chargers, we saw an opportunity to support the entire sector by using an already peer reviewed standard, and we’re thrilled to collaborate with Archer now to validate that aim,” he explained.

It is hoped that the move will speed up the rollout of an interoperable fast-charging system across the electric aircraft industry. BETA’s chargers feature the GAMA-endorsed combined charging standard (CCS) — the most common global standard in the EV sector and the choice for a number of OEMs. 

CCS, for example, is compatible with almost all Tesla vehicles. The auto giant is where Archer’s senior vice president for Powertrain, Dr Michael Schwekutsch used to work. “During my time as the vice president of Powertrain Engineering at Tesla it was well understood that having a widely accessible, fast-charger network was key to driving the adoption of EVs and the same is true for eVTOLs and that’s why we are so excited to collaborate with BETA to to build out the charging network for our electric air taxis,” he said.

Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA, added: “The adoption of a unified charging standard will help promote electric aviation’s development at scale, Enabling electric aircraft and electric ground vehicles from different manufacturers to share charging infrastructure will help reduce the costs of electrifying existing infrastructure. A common standard will boost confidence in the emerging AAM sector of our industry and encourage adoption of, and access to, publicly accessible charging networks.”

Elsewhere, Archer said yesterday its Midnight aircraft will make its Middle East debut at the Dubai Airshow later this month as the featured aircraft in the AAM Pavilion. Goldstein will also reveal some more details about Archer’s plans to operations to the UAE in 2026 as part of a keynote address at the show’s opening ceremony.

Meanwhile, BETA landed its all-electric aircraft at Duke Field, Florida late last month to begin a contracted deployment period with the US Air Force. BETA’s ALIA aircraft, along with its core flight test team, will remain at Duke Field for several months to work with the Air Force’s 413th Squadron to conduct hands-on training and explore use cases including critical resupply, cargo delivery and personnel transport.