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Stellantis just made an ‘aggressive’ $35.5 billion commitment to electric vehicles

The company is planning for 70% of its sales in Europe and 40% of sales in the US to be either fully electric or plug-in hybrid (but with a large majority of those vehicles being fully electric) within four years, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said during an online presentation.

“[The plan] is among the most aggressive electric vehicle commitments the industry has yet seen,” said Karl Brauer, an industry analyst with ISeeCars.com.

Among its upcoming offerings will be an all-electric muscle car from Stellantis’ Dodge brand, as well as an all-electric Ram pickup.

The new Dodge is expected in 2024. Dark images in Stellantis’ video presentaion show it to have sharp corners and retro styling, much like the current Dodge Challenger. It also shows a light-up version of Dodge’s triangular 1960’s logo.

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis offered no further details, but made it clear that Dodge will continue as a high-horsepower performance brand. It has become clear, though, that electric cars offer real performance competition to the traditional internal combustion V8 engines Dodge is famous for. Tesla’s electric Model S four-door sedan can now at least match the drag strip performance of a highly specialized Dodge performance coupe, like the Challenger Demon.
Kuniskis admitted that engineers are reaching the performance limits of internal combustion engines and now require at least some assistance from electric motors to get large gains in power and performance. Even exotic sports car makers, like Ferrari and McLaren, are introducing plug-in hybrids, not just as a way of beating emissions standards, but as a way of increasing speed.

As part of its electrification plan, Stellantis is creating four different electric vehicle “platforms,” or core engineering setups. One will be for compact vehicles, like the Fiat 500, one for medium-sized vehicles, like mid-sized sedans and crossovers, and another for larger vehicles, like SUVs, large sedans or minivans. All of those will incorporate battery packs into the floor of the vehicle.

A fourth platform will be engineered with a separate metal frame with the battery packs carried between the frame rails. This structure, similar to the one Ford uses in the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup, will be for trucks like the electric Ram 1500 pickup, which is also planned for 2024.

The electric vehicles will be able to drive up to about 500 miles on a charge, according to Stellantis. The company expects that, by 2026, the total ownership cost of electric vehicles, including fuel and insurance costs, will be the same as for internal combustion-powered vehicles without any government incentives.

The company plans a full line of electric and plug-in hybrid trucks and commercial vehicles. These will include ones with a new technology Stellantis is calling Range Electric Paradigm Breaker. Without providing any details, Stellantis executives promised it would allow towing and hauling without concerns about reduced driving range.

Jeep promises more plug-in vehicles like thisGrand Cherokee 4xe.

Stellantis will also operate five large battery factories in North America and Europe and the company expects to have made advances in solid state battery technology by 2026. Solid state batteries can have much higher energy-density than the batteries currently used in electric cars, which use liquids, and potentially offer increases in range while reducing both weight and charge time.

Opel, a brand PSA took over from General Motors in 2017, will sell only electric vehicles in Europe and will also re-enter the Chinese market by 2028. Fiat, which already sells the electric Fiat 500, will also become an all-electric brand in Europe.

The head of Stellantis’ Jeep brand, Christian Meunier, said Jeep will have a zero-emission option for every model it sells by 2025. That will include an all-new off-road Jeep model, according to Stellantis’ chief designer Ralph Gilles.

Even with all of these investments, Stellantis said it expects to increase its profitability over the next several years thanks to technology improvements and cost savings from its merger.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.