There are quite a number of exciting developments from Stellantis. One of them is that Stellantis N.V. and Leapmotor announced that Stellantis plans to invest €1.5 billion to acquire approximately 20% of Leapmotor, making Stellantis a significant shareholder. The deal also outlines the formation of Leapmotor International, a 51/49 Stellantis-led joint venture that has exclusive rights for the export and sale, as well as manufacturing, of Leapmotor products outside Greater China. Stellantis says this will be an industry-first global electric vehicle relationship between a leading automaker and a Chinese pure-play New Energy Vehicle OEM.
Leapmotor is a company I have been following for quite a while. It has the small T03 hatchback that proved to be quite popular in China in its segment. It was also exported to some markets outside China. Leapmotor has since added more models and some hybrids in a bid to boost sales and broaden its portfolio. Leapmotor’s product plan for the next three years is expected to cover the full range of A- to-E segments, based on one technical architecture with three highly scalable platforms with BEV and Range Extender EV powertrains. Leapmotor delivered approximately 111,000 units in 2022.
Leapmotor is among the fastest growing Chinese pure-play new energy vehicle (NEV) tech leaders with a unique vertical integration model and full-suite of in-house R&D and manufacturing capabilities. Leapmotor was the world’s first pure-play EV company to implement Cell-to-Chassis technology on a large scale. I hope this deal will help accelerate plans to see more of Leapmotor’s vehicles in more places around the world.
The Citroën ë-C3
In some more exciting news, Stellantis revealed the all new Citroën ë-C3, with a 44kWh battery pack providing up to 320 km (199 miles) WLTP driving range, and 100kW DC fast recharging from 20 to 80% capacity in just 26 minutes. Standard AC recharging from 20% to 80% takes around 4 hours using 7kW power, or just under 3 hours if 11kW is available. Stellantis adds that with its 83kW (113hp) motor and fully automatic transmission accelerating the car from 0-100 km/h (62mph) in around 11 seconds, and a provisional top speed of 135km/h (84mph), the all-new ë-C3 delivers more than enough power and performance to deal with everyday driving and traffic, particularly in urban and suburban environments.
Stellantis says, “The all-electric ë-C3 proudly heads up the fourth-generation line-up of Citroën’s most popular car, which has sold more than 5.6 million units since the launch of the first generation in 2002. The C3 is being the brand’s most popular model and representing 29 percent of Citroën’s European sales volume. In 2022, the C3 captured 11 percent overall of the European B-segment market. Significantly, the all-new ë-C3 signals a new chapter for Citroën. The popular and daring brand is reinventing itself to aggressively meet head-on the challenges of making all-electric mobility accessible to all with the first European-designed and Europe-built all-electric B-hatchback for customers wanting the benefits of zero-emission mobility at a net, fair and affordable price.”
And the price looks good. Stellantis says, “For the first time in Europe, Citroën has engineered the all-new Citroën ë-C3 around a platform designed from the outset to accommodate an all-electric powertrain. Underpinning the car is a version of the highly flexible global Stellantis ‘Smart Car’ platform, and this has enabled Citroën to make the all-new ë-C3 accessible to customers at prices starting from 23,300 Euros.”
This all-new 320km range model will be joined towards 2025 by a 200 km range version, allowing the all-new Citroën ë-C3 to be even more affordable, at €19,990. The ë-C3 is built at the Trnava plant in Slovakia.
Images courtesy of Stellantis
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