Archer Aviation has purchased multiple units of BETA’s interoperable, multi-modal fast charging system, which utilizes the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) used by leading original equipment manufacturers in the electric aviation industry. The goal of the first industry collaboration between BETA and Archer is to drive widespread deployment of an interoperable electric charging network that meets standards set by GAMA and supports large-scale electrification of vehicles.
An unprecedented agreement…
Archer Aviation and BETA Technologies announced an industry-first agreement to accelerate the deployment of an interoperable fast charging system across the electric aircraft industry. If the two manufacturers – or rather developers as it is becoming customary to call them across the Atlantic – of ADAVe (eVTOL) seem to be in competition, they have a common interest around the battery charging system used for their aircraft. The objective of this partnership, according to the two manufacturers, is to encourage the large-scale deployment of interoperable electric chargers compliant with the Combined Charging Standard (CCS), which is the most widely used standard for land-based electric vehicles. And Beta Technologies has installed several charging modules, both for ADAVe and cars, since it has installed them on the edge of airports.
…And a versatile charging system…
Technically, the CCS standard provides for harmonized charging interfaces. In short, this means that Beta’s Alia-250 eVTOL and its recently unveiled eCTOL (electric Conventional Take-Off and Landing) variant could share a charger with Archer’s Midnight, for example. Archer uses two BETA Charge Cube systems in its flight test facilities, as well as a number of BETA Mini Cube mobile charging systems, which Archer plans to deploy quickly as needed. BETA’s charging system therefore uses the Combined Charging Standard (CCS) – a multi-modal and interoperable standard employed by major OEMs. This GAMA-approved standard has peer review and global certification standards, and is harmonized with EUROCAE ED-308. BETA’s charging systems are already in use at 14 sites in the eastern United States, and development work is underway to install them at 55 additional sites along the East Coast and Gulf Coast, as well as than at Archer’s California facilities.
…With the start of a network across the Atlantic…
Access to BETA’s electric charging system and network through this collaboration is another critical part of Archer’s plan to create the most efficient and scalable path to market for ADAVe (eVTOL) aircraft. ‘Archer. Archer Chargers bring BETA’s network to the West Coast. This industry-significant collaboration follows BETA’s network expansion on the East Coast – including the first electric aircraft charger on a Department of Defense facility located at Duke Field, Air Force Base. Eglin.
…Interoperability validated by GAMA
“Fast charging is essential to ensure fast turnaround times between flights,” commented Adam Goldstein, founder and CEO of Archer. “A widespread rapid charging system is essential for electric air taxis to develop in the years to come, and this collaboration between two industry leaders is an exciting step towards this goal,” he adds. Important detail: In September 2023, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) published a report entitled “Interoperability of Electric Charging Infrastructure” which highlights the fact that shared charging infrastructure offers many advantages over multiple proprietary protocols developed by OEMs.
A unified charging standard
Thus, manufacturers or developers of ADAVe (eVTOL) have understood the need to unify their efforts or rather to create a charging standard which simplifies both access – through equipment compatibility – but also the load itself. “Adoption of a unified charging standard will help promote the development of electric aviation on a large scale,” said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of GAMA. “Allowing 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 build confidence in the emerging advanced air mobility sector of our industry and encourage the adoption of and access to publicly accessible charging networks.