Thursday, 08 July 2021 22:01

Stellantis to Invest $36B in EVs Through 2025

Written by Mark Kane, Inside EVs


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About six months after its birth from the business combination of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Stellantis held a major event, Stellantis EV Day 2021, to present its plans.

The group is considered the fourth largest car manufacturer by volume, and intends to intensify electrification through executing a very comprehensive electrification strategy with a focus on vertical-integration and synergy between all the brands.


Stellantis intends to invest more than $35.6 billion through 2025 in electrification and software development, including equity investments made in joint ventures to fund their activities to offer "best-in-class fully electrified solutions" over all 14 brands.


Meanwhile, the group targets "sustainable double-digit adjusted operating income margins in the mid-term," around 2026.


“The customer is always at the heart of Stellantis and our commitment with this [$35.6 billion]-plus investment plan is to offer iconic vehicles that have the performance, capability, style, comfort and electric range that fit seamlessly into their daily lives," said Carlos Tavares, CEO. "The strategy we laid out today focuses the right amount of investment on the right technology to reach the market at the right time, ensuring that Stellantis powers the freedom of movement in the most efficient, affordable and sustainable way.”


The rate of electrification will differ depending on the market. Stellantis announced by 2030, low emission vehicle (LEV) will account for more than 70% of its sales in Europe. In the U.S., it will be more than 40% in the same timeframe.


The electrification will concern both passenger cars of all types---mainstream models, pickups and even muscle cars---as well as commercial vehicles.

Only time will tell what will be...

...the exact mix of battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.


The approach might differ between the brands, but all 14 announced commitment to the plan.


"Electrification is not a 'one size fits all' plan at Stellantis," the company said. "Each of the company’s 14 iconic brands is committed to offering best-in-class fully electrified solutions and doing so in a way that enhances the DNA of each brand.


"One of the most important things for us is that Stellantis expects to achieve total cost of ownership parity between BEVs and ICEs by 2026.


"Affordability is a priority at Stellantis, as the company is targeting for the total cost of ownership of EVs to be equivalent to internal combustion engine vehicles by 2026."


Stellantis announced a total of four BEV-centric platforms that will cover the entire range of vehicles. The BEV-centric platforms, or BEV-by-design, suggests their default purpose are BEVs, although they will be able to accommodate other types. Time will tell how it will differ and how it will pay off compared to dedicated BEV solutions.


The company said the platforms "are designed with a high level of flexibility (length and width) and component sharing, delivering economies of scale as each platform can support production of up to two million units per year." Two million per platform would be 8 million total, if all would be in full swing.


The target maximum ranges of the platforms are pretty good, up to 500 miles:


  • STLA Small, with a range up to 300 miles (37-82 kWh)
  • STLA Medium, with a range up to 440 miles (87-104 kWh)
  • STLA Large, with a range up to 500 miles (101-118 kWh)
  • STLA Frame, with a range up to 500 miles (159-200+ kWh)


The fourth platform, STLA Frame, is expected to be used in...

...electric pickup trucks.


The platforms will use a scalable family of three electric drive modules (EDM) that combines the motor, gearbox and inverter. The interesting thing is the power inverter is to be shared by all three EDM families, with only small modifications, like different power modules selected for different units.


The EDMs will be used in FWD, RWD and AWD electric cars, and in plug-in hybrids.


The electric drive units will be produced locally---in the case of Europe, the base will be NPe, a Stellantis and Nidec joint venture.


The battery packs will be standardized as well, to cover all brands and segments. The efficiency in small EVs will be 4.3 miles per kWh. The top of the line models are expected to offer 0-62 mph in as low as two seconds.


Stellantis also said the platforms are designed for long life via software and hardware upgrades---we guess new model years will be getting new hardware, which will be available for older models as well, like a higher capacity battery.


"A program of hardware upgrades and over-the-air software updates will extend the life of the platforms well into the next decade," the company said. "Stellantis will develop software and controls in-house to maintain the characteristics unique to each brand."


Stellantis announced there are two battery chemistries planned by 2024: the standard Ni-based high energy-density option (600-700 Wh/L), configured in one unique module type for the entire group in 2024; and the more affordable nickel- and cobalt-free alternative (600-500 Wh/L), configured in a cell-to-pack approach.


From 2026, all battery types are to be built using...

...one unique cell-to-pack design. By 2026, the first solid-state batteries will be introduced.


"Battery packs will be tailored for a variety of vehicles---from smaller city cars to energy-dense packs for performance vehicles and trucks," the company said. "Use of two battery chemistries is planned by 2024 to support various customer needs: a high energy-density option and a nickel cobalt-free alternative. By 2026, the first competitive solid state battery technology is targeted to be introduced."


An important declaration concerns fast charging, as the company would like to offer class-leading fast charging capability of 20 miles per minute.


Stellantis announced its battery needs will be more than 130 GWh annually by 2025 and more than 260 GWh annually by 2030.


To secure such a high amount of batteries, the company intends to build, with partners, at least five battery gigafactories in Europe and North America. On top of that, Stellantis will still be purchasing batteries outside.


We know the company already announced two gigafactories in Europe, one in France and one in Germany, with Total/Saft, while FCA is trying to secure one in Italy.


Considering the numbers, we should soon see an announcement about a battery gigafactory---the deal with an undisclosed partner is almost ready---in the U.S., and a few years down the road, there will be another one.


Stellantis intends to engage also in supply of battery materials, as well as cover the entire life cycle through repair, remanufacturing, second-life use and recycling.


"Stellantis has signed MOUs with two lithium geothermal brine process partners in North America and Europe to ensure a sustainable supply of lithium, identified as the most critical battery raw material with regard to availability, as well as have the ability to integrate lithium into the supply chain once available," the company said.


Another interesting thing is after implementing all the measures and increasing the scale, the battery costs are expected to decrease by more than 40% between 2024 and 2020, and another 20% by 2030, compared to 2024. As we understand, in 2030 the per kWh cost will be 50% or so less than in 2020.


Stellantis doesn't have competence in all areas of electrification and this is why the company will produce electric drive units and battery cells with external partners, through joint ventures:


"Stellantis currently has or is completing several key technology joint ventures, ranging from e-powertrain and e-transmission operations to battery cell chemistry and production and digital cockpit and personalized connected services," the company said. "These partnerships provide Stellantis the opportunity to leverage not only in-house competencies, but also the expertise of the partners in order to bring new technology and solutions to market more rapidly, while optimizing capital allocation to further enhance Stellantis competitiveness in the marketplace."


We thank Inside EVs for reprint permission.  


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