During October, Stellantis had several big stories that we haven’t quite had a chance to get to. The company has chosen a site for the next battery factory, worked to purchase a range extending EV company, and most importantly, there are now plans for revamping the commercial vehicle lineup.
Let’s take a quick look at each story!
There’s A Place Called Kokomo, Where Stellantis Wants To Go (Again)
If you were a Stellantis executive, you’d probably have your pick of vacation destinations. Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda, and Bahama are all just a flight away, right? But, there’s a place that Stellantis seems to really like,
right off the Florida Keys in Indiana. It’s the site of the company’s first StarPlus gigafactory.
Now, Stellantis is going again, announcing fast (and probably not taking it slow). A couple of weeks ago, Stellantis and Samsung unveiled plans for a second battery manufacturing facility in the United States. The chosen location for this venture, in partnership with StarPlus Energy, is Kokomo, Indiana (again). While it might not be the place the Beach Boys were talking about, it must be pretty magical to get chosen twice!
The upcoming StarPlus Energy plant is set to get going with production in early 2027, with an impressive annual capacity of 34 gigawatt hours (GWh). This joint venture undertaking will not only inject over $3.2 billion (€2.8 billion) into the economy but also generate 1,400 employment opportunities in Kokomo and its neighboring regions. The overall investment for both facilities will exceed $6.3 billion (€5.5 billion), resulting in a total of 2,800 new jobs being created.
So, the town will have a lot more than a tree stump to brag about.
“Our battery ecosystem is the foundation of our electrification strategy, and our great partners Samsung SDI, the state of Indiana and the city of Kokomo have created a compelling case for locating our sixth gigafactory in Kokomo,” said Mark Stewart, Stellantis COO North America. “The BEVs coming to our North America brands play an important role in our drive to offer clean, safe and affordable mobility for all and achieve the bold goal of carbon net zero by 2038.”
The company will definitely need all of those batteries, in other words. As part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis has unveiled ambitious goals (even if behind front-running EV companies). By 2030, the company says it aims to achieve a 100% sales mix of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) for passenger cars in Europe, and a 50% sales mix of BEVs for passenger cars and light-duty trucks in the United States. To support these targets, Stellantis is actively securing around 400 GWh of battery capacity. Furthermore, the company is committed to becoming a carbon net-zero corporation by 2038, encompassing all scopes, with a focus on reducing remaining emissions to single-digit percentages.
Outside of Kokomo, Indiana is also excited about the deal.
“Indiana’s economy is on a roll,” said Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb. “Today’s commitment from Stellantis and Samsung SDI will double the capital investment, the new jobs created, and the impact this joint venture will have on Kokomo and the state of Indiana for decades to come. This decision puts Hoosiers squarely at the center of innovating and developing the future of mobility, catalyzing Indiana’s leadership position in tomorrow’s global economy.”
The Company Is Also Going to Work on PHEV
In an article at CarNewsChina.com, it was revealed that Stellantis is going to buy a Chinese automaker, but this time, it’s one that focuses on plugin hybrids. According to the publication, Stellantis is working on finalizing stock purchases to gain control of Leapmotor. This not only gives them control of a company that works on EVs, but one that also has a valuable EV/PHEV platform, the EREV LEAP 3.0.
The platform is useful for both all-electric EVs (BEVs) and and PHEV because it uses a small gas generator that isn’t mechanically-coupled to the wheels. Many other plugin-hybrids have a large ICE engine that can push the vehicle on its own under some conditions, but Leapmotor’s design only uses the small ICE to generate electricity on longer trips.
Beyond using and licensing this technology, it gives Stellantis another shot at a China business after another joint venture didn’t work out for them.
Revamped Commercial Vehicles
A few days ago, Stellantis revealed an extensive lineup of refreshed and electrified compact, mid-size, and large commercial vans. A total of 12 vehicles, representing the Citroën, FIAT Professional, Opel, Peugeot, and Vauxhall brands, are part of the Pro One strategic offensive for Stellantis Commercial Vehicles Business.
“This 2nd generation of zero-emission vans, in line with customer expectations and offering increased BEV autonomy, additional fuel-cell offer, 18 ADAS, full connectivity, and innovations such as ‘electric Power Take Off’, will reinforce even further our current leadership in BEV vans and in all van segments,” said Xavier Peugeot, Senior Vice President, Stellantis Commercial Vehicles Business Unit.
The company’s 2nd generation of BEV propulsion offers compact vans an impressive range of up to 330 kilometers (205 miles). Mid-size BEV vans come with battery packs of 50 or 75 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and can travel up to 350 km (224 miles). In the large van segment, a 110-kWh battery provides an outstanding EV range of up to 420 km (261 miles). The large van’s battery can be fast-charged at 150 kW, reaching 80% capacity in under one hour, so it’s no slouch there, either.
As part of the announcement, the company also said it’s working on expanding hydrogen technology in Europe, boasting of its benefits. I don’t think I have to explain why that’s problematic and inefficient, but there does still seem to be some demand for this.
In the United States, the company is also working on electric versions of its Ram products, including vans and pickup trucks.
“The essence of our customer-centric renewal of our entire van lineup is no compromise — in range, capability, safety and connectivity,” said Luca Marengo, Global Head of Product — Serial Life for the Stellantis Commercial Vehicles Business Unit.
The only question left now is whether the company will follow through or chicken out like other companies have done recently. Economic headwinds and slower growth of EV demand have led to reduced production and reduced goals for future production. But, in Europe, this doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue.
Featured image provided by Stellantis.
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