It’s EV Day at Stellantis.
And boy, is there a lot to chew over.
Stellantis lays out plans to invest more than €30 billion through 2025 on electrification. Those plans include a target of over 70 percent of European sales being low-emissions vehicles in Europe, along with over 40 percent in the U.S.
The company says all 14 brands will be “committed” to “fully electrified solutions”, including BEVs that have ranges from 300-500 miles and fast-charging capabilities of up to 20 miles of charge per minute.
It plans on having four “flexible” battery-electric vehicle platforms and a group of three “scalable” electric drive modules, along with standardized battery packs, to allow it to cover all of its brands and segments.
There are also plans to build five gigafactories between North America and Europe as part of a battery-sourcing strategy. The batteries themselves are interesting — one promises to be a high energy-density option and the other free from nickel-cobalt. That latter one is planned for 2024.
Solid-state battery technology is planned for 2026.
Oh, and did we mention Stellantis is targeting double-digit adjusted operating income margins by around 2026 or so?
Those are a lot of bold claims, and naturally, we’re skeptical.
It’s not just because many OEMs are making ambitious claims regarding electric vehicles — claims that seem unreachable in the timelines given. It’s partly because Stellantis’ has made big claims before (back when the company had a different name) and failed to deliver (to be fair, some of the failures were due to factors beyond the company’s control). And it’s partly because, well, it’s a lot. A lot of change in a short time for a company that still uses ancient platforms to underpin some cars and also relies on a mix of relatively small brands.
That hasn’t stopped the marketing department from putting its heads together to come up with snappy slogan. These are directly copied from Stellantis:
- Abarth – “Heating Up People, But Not the Planet”
- Alfa Romeo – “From 2024, Alfa Becomes Alfa e-Romeo”
- Chrysler – “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families”
- Citroën – “Citroën Electric: Well-Being for All!”
- Dodge – “Tear Up the Streets… Not the Planet”
- DS Automobiles – “The Art of Travel, Magnified”
- Fiat – “It’s Only Green When It’s Green for All”
- Jeep® – “Zero Emission Freedom”
- Lancia – “The Most Elegant Way to Protect the Planet”
- Maserati – “The Best in Performance Luxury, Electrified”
- Opel/Vauxhall – “Green is the New Cool”
- Peugeot – “Turning Sustainable Mobility into Quality Time”
- Ram – “Built to Serve a Sustainable Planet”
- Commercial Vehicles – “The Global Leader in e-Commercial Vehicles”
Slogans are great, but product is better, and in that vein, here are the four planned platforms, plus each one’s maximum targeted range: STLA Small (300 miles), STLA Medium (440 miles), STLA Large (500 miles), and STLA Frame (500 miles). The three electric drive modules will combine motor, gearbox, and inverter, and can be setup for front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive, or for 4xe four-wheel drive.
Battery packs can be tailored to vehicle type. Current or planned joint ventures will help the company bring forth new technology, whether it’s for powertrains or digital cockpits.
There are other pieces of product news, relating to Jeep, Dodge, and Ram, that we will cover separately.
As for the bigger picture, we’re skeptical, but we also understand that Stellantis, like everybody else, needs to at least show a strong commitment to electrification. And if the company can deliver on its promises, it will be in a strong position as the market shifts further to EVs.
Of course, there are factors that are partially or fully beyond Stellantis’ control at play — questions surrounding charging infrastructure, and consumer demand for EVs, and if consumers will remain gripped by range anxiety, and so on and so forth. A great EV plan means diddly if the cars can’t be charged easily and quickly, for example.
The auto industry being as complex as it is, we also feel compelled to note that the best-laid plans tend to get waylaid. Stellantis could, for example, meet its targets in terms of having its EV platforms ready for production, and then run into production delays. Delays perhaps caused by an outside factor or factors — the way COVID and chip shortages screwed with production in 2020 and 2021.
Stellantis is yet another automaker talking big on EVs. But until vehicles are rolling off lines, into showrooms, and off dealer lots into driveways, it’s just that — talk.