Stellantis, one of the largest automotive groups in the world, created by merging FCA with PSA, does not think that the current direction of electrification is right.
The company's CEO, Carlos Tavares, is a well-known electric car skeptic. Last month, he complained about the surging costs of electrification.
In a recent joint interview by France's Les Echos, Handelsblatt, Corriere della Sera and El Mundo (via Automotive News Europe), Stellantis' boss said that the phase-out combustion engines is a political choice associated with risks (both environmental and social) and that BEVs are not the technology chosen by the industry.
As we understand, Carlos Tavares' argument is that the automotive industry would be able to reduce CO2 emissions cheaper and faster through expansion of hybrids.
"Given the current European energy mix, an electric car needs to drive 70,000 kilometres to compensate for the carbon footprint of manufacturing the battery and to start catching up with a light hybrid vehicle, which costs half as much as an EV (electric vehicle),"
The deep transformation from ICE to BEVs is also expected to have a significant impact on plants and suppliers:
"The brutality of this change creates social risk,"
Well, it seems that Stellantis' boss is not too excited about electrification progress. Especially how quickly it progresses towards battery electric vehicles.
Some might say that Stellantis tries to slow down the process a little bit to be able to catch up with the manufacturers that have jumped into EVs early.
The company is promising more than a €30 billion ($34 billion) investment in electrification and software by 2025. 4 new BEV platforms are coming and double-digit number of new models.
Only time will tell how well things will sort out for Stellantis and the general automotive industry.