Nearly all Stellantis nameplates will have electrified option by 2025

Breana Noble
The Detroit News
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By 2025, 96% of nameplates from Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Fiat and other Stellantis NV brands in the United States will have electrified options with all models offering a fully battery-electric option by 2030, CEO Carlos Tavares said Thursday during the company's first general shareholder meeting.

The details are an early glimpse into how the newly created world's fourth-largest automaker expects to tackle "the No. 1 challenge of the automotive industry," Tavares said. The company was created in January to generate the funds and scale to compete in an industry quickly adopting zero-emission technology in the face of growing demand and government mandates.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe is the brand's first electrified vehicle in North America.

"This is what we are going to deliver to the market," Tavares said during the meeting, held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. "Please recognize we are now accelerating this electrification move, and please recognize we are perfectly on-time and ready to deliver on the zero-emission mobility expectations for the markets in which we operate."

In 2021 alone, Stellantis expects to triple its worldwide electrified vehicle sales to more than 400,000 from sales made by its predecessors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and French automaker PSA Groupe. Stellantis is adding 10 new models this year for a total of 39 electrified nameplates. The company has more than 110 nameplates across its 14 brands.

Fiat Chrysler had been seen as a laggard in the EV space. Between 2018 and 2020, the Italian-American automaker spent $26.8 billion (22.4 billion euros) on product development and production in electrification, Giorgio Fossati, Stellantis' general counsel, said Thursday.

The company in the United States currently offers the plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan and recently launched the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid SUV. An electrified version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV is coming later this year.

"They need to provide some details on how they are going to migrate the North American product to electrification besides plug-in hybrids," said Sam Abuelsamid, e-mobility for market research firm Guidehouse Inc. "We've seen no details of that plan."

Underlying Stellantis' plans are four new global battery-electric platforms, including three for passenger cars and one for large SUVs and pickup trucks set to debut in 2024 with no less than 310 miles (500 kilometers) of range, Tavares said. BEV passenger car platforms will begin to be introduced for medium and large cars in 2023 with more than 435 miles (700 kilometers) and 497 miles (800 kilometers) of range, respectively. The platform for small cars should be launched in 2026 with more than 310 miles (500 kilometers) of range.

"Those platforms are sized to deliver no less than the numbers we have just mentioned, which will address what we call the range anxiety issue of electric vehicles," Tavares said. "I think this is quite a breakthrough."

Converging onto just the four platforms is expected to contribute a third of the forecast $5.9 billion in cost savings created from the merger that closed in January. That should facilitate the company's U.S. goals as well as have 98% of its European nameplates with a plug-in hybrid or pure EV option by 2025.

Such "LEV" options should represent 31% of the automaker's U.S. sales by then, up from 4% in 2021, and 35% by 2030, Tavares said. The company expects this will be above the market average mix of 30%.

In Europe, LEVs should represent 38% of Stellantis sales by 2025, up from 14% in 2021, and 70% by 2030 compared to a predicted market average of 60%.

For comparison, General Motors Co. said in November that 40% of its new U.S. vehicle entries will be fully battery-electric by the end of 2025 and has set a target of 2035 for when all of its vehicles will be fully electric — such a deadline that Tavares has refrained from setting for Stellantis.

Tavares also underscored Stellantis' commitment to control around 80% of battery-electric vehicles' value, which is more than the automaker has of vehicles it makes with internal combustion engines. The concept borrows from the first automotive century's golden age when automakers controlled key parts of assembly and component production in what the industry called "vertical integration." Stellantis will share more details on batteries and its strategy during an electrification day on July 8.

PSA previously had developed joint ventures that will continue under Stellantis for the production of battery cells and modules by the end of 2023, electric motors by the end of 2022 and transmissions for hybrids by the end of 2022 for Europe. Stellantis itself plans to produce battery management systems by the end of next year as well as create e-powertrain and energy management software.

The automaker has not announced plans for a battery plant in the United States, but Tavares said work is moving quickly on such projects. By 2025, the company expects to have capacity for 130 gigawatt-hours and 250 gigawatt-hours by 2050.

Its Automotive Cells Co. joint venture with French oil and gas company Total SE and its Saft Groupe S.A. battery company will begin battery production at gigafactories in Douvrin, France, by the end of 2023, and Kaiserslautern, Germany, by the end of 2025. They are expected to provide 50 gigawatt-hours of capacity.

"Not only do we want to fast forward on this electrification transformation because we believe that our purpose is to deliver a safe, clean and affordable mobility to the citizens of the communities in which we operate," Tavares said. "We are not only now going to accelerate, but we are going to do this in an efficient way that is not wasting the resources of the company."

Stellantis isn’t alone. GM is working with LG Chem Ltd. on a $2.3 billion battery cell plant in northeast Ohio set for completion by 2022. Volkswagen AG last month said a joint venture with Northvolt AB will produce batteries in Germany by early 2024. Ford is examining the possibility of manufacturing its own batteries, too.

Also during the annual general meeting, 99.6% of shareholders voted in favor of a $1.2 billion extraordinary distribution in lieu of an ordinary annual dividend that has been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments of 38 cents (0.32 euro) per share will be made April 28.

Holding companies representing Stellantis' largest shareholders, the Agnelli family of Italy and Peugeot family of France, shared in a joint statement that they signed a consultation agreement this week "aimed at strengthening the relations between the Agnelli and Peugeot families and to provide support for Stellantis in its long-term success."

The understanding allows Exor NV, which holds a 14.4% stake in Stellantis, and Peugeot 1810, which has a 7.2% share, to exchange views, though it leaves them free to vote as they wish.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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