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 €30 billion ($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).
"Stellantis plans to achieve increased profitability in the coming years. This will be supported by the execution of the synergy opportunities arising from the formation of Stellantis, with a forecast of annual cash synergies of more than €5 billion at steady state, the roadmap of battery cost reductions, and the continued optimization of distribution and production costs and realization of new revenue streams, in particular from connected services and future software business models.
As a result, Stellantis is targeting to achieve sustainable, double-digit Adjusted Operating Income margins in the mid-term (~2026), making the Company a benchmark in profitability in the provision of electrified mobility to customers on a global basis."
Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive Officer, Stellantis said:
“The customer is always at the heart of Stellantis and our commitment with this €30 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. 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 that by 2030, low emission vehicle (LEV) will account for over 70% of its sales in Europe. In the U.S. it will be over 40% in the same timeframe (by 2030).
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. 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. Stellantis revealed the following statements expressing each of the brand’s electrification approach:
● 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”"
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."
Four BEV-centric platforms and three electric drive modules
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 that their default purpose are BEVs, although they will be able to accommodate also other types. Time will tell how it will differ and how it will pay off compared to dedicated BEV solutions.
Anyway, the company says that 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." 2 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 800 km (500 miles):
- STLA Small, with a range up to 500 kilometers/300 miles (37-82 kWh)
Efficient city mobility
- STLA Medium, with a range up to 700 kilometers/440 miles (87-104 kWh)
- STLA Large, with a range up to 800 kilometers/500 miles (101-118 kWh)
AWD performance and american muscle
- STLA Frame, with a range up to 800 kilometers/500 miles (159-200+ kWh)
Capability and practicality
The fourth platform - STLA Frame, is expected to be utilized in electric pickup trucks.
The platforms will utilize a scalable family of three electric drive modules (EDM) that combines the motor, gearbox and inverter. The interesting thing is that the power inverter to be shared by all three EDM families (with modifications, like different power modules selected for different units).
- EDM #1: 70 kW (for STLA Small and STLA Medium), 400V
- EDM #2: 125-180 kW (for STLA Small, STLA Medium and STLA Large), 400V
- EDM #3: 150-330 kW (for STLA Medium, STLA Large and STLA Frame), 400/800V
The EDMs will be used in FWD, RWD, AWD electric cars and in plug-in hybrids.
"These EDMs are compact, flexible and can be easily scaled. The EDMs can be configured for front-drive, rear-drive, all-wheel drive and 4xe."
"The combination of the platforms, EDMs and high energy-density battery packs will deliver vehicles with best-in-class performance in efficiency, range and recharging."
The electric drive units will be produced locally - in the case of Europe, the base will be NPe (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 12.0 kWh/100 km or 4.3 miles per kWh.
The top of the line models are expected to offer 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in as low as 2 seconds!
Stellantis says also that the platforms are designed for long life via software and hardware upgrades - we guess that 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. Stellantis will develop software and controls in-house to maintain the characteristics unique to each brand."
Batteries - two chemistries, long-range and fast charging
Stellantis announced that there are two battery chemistries planned by 2024:
- standard Ni-based high energy-density option (600-700 Wh/L)
Pack configuration: one unique module type for the entire group in 2024
- more affordable (-20% €/kWh), nickel- and cobalt-free alternative (600-500 Wh/L)
Pack configuration: Cell-to-Pack approach
From 2026, all the battery types to be built using one unique Cell-to-Pack design.
Interestingly, 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. 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 (800V battery system), as the company would like to offer class-leading fast charging capability of 32 km/20 miles per minute.
"Driving range and rapid recharges are key to widespread consumer acceptance of BEVs. Stellantis meets this challenge with BEVs that will deliver ranges between 500-800 km/300-500 miles and with class-leading fast charging capability of 32 km/20 miles per minute."
Battery gigafactories - at least five
Stellantis announced that 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) a total of at least five battery plants (gigafactories) in Europe and North America. On top of that, Stellantis will still be purchasing batteries outside.
- 2025: 3 gigafactories (130+ GWh)
EU: 80+ GWh, U.S. 50+ GWh
Europe: Automotive Cells Company (ACC) JV with Total/Saft
contracts with CATL, BYD, SVOLT, Samsung SDI, LG Chem's LG Energy Solution
U.S. gigafactory partner: undisclosed yet
- 2030: 5+ gigafactories (260+ GWh)
EU: 170+ GWh, U.S. 90+ GWh
"The Stellantis electrification roadmap encompasses the entire value chain. The Company’s EV battery sourcing strategy is to secure more than 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity by 2025 and more than 260 GWh by 2030. The EV battery and component needs will be met with a total of five “gigafactories” in Europe and North America, completed with additional supply contracts and partnerships to support total demand."
We know that 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. (50 GWh), 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 intends to maximize the full value of the battery life cycle through repair, remanufacturing, second-life use and recycling, as well as ensure a sustainable system that prioritizes customer needs and environmental concerns."
Another interesting thing is that 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.
"In addition to sourcing strategies, Stellantis’ technical expertise and manufacturing synergies will drive battery costs lower. Electric vehicle battery pack costs are targeted to be reduced by more than 40 percent from 2020 to 2024 and by more than an additional 20 percent by 2030. All aspects of the battery pack play a role in reducing the costs – optimizing the overall pack, simplifying the format of the modules, increasing the size of the battery cells and upgrading the battery chemistry."
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. 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."