Stellantis, the company responsible for US auto brands Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Fiat and Alfa Romeo, announced on May 24 that it would partner with Samsung to build a new $ 2.5 billion electric car battery facility in Cocomo, Indiana. . Stellantis has set a sales target of 5 million battery-electric vehicles per year by 2030 and will need to make a serious boost to achieve that goal; International Consortium does not currently offer any electric vehicles for sale in the United States.
Cocomo’s location is central to Stalantis’ midwest-based vehicle assembly centers and close to the company’s supplier base. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with online production capacity by 2025. The company has projected that the new assembly plant will create about 1,400 new jobs and will be operated as a joint venture with brand partner Samsung.
“Less than a year ago, we were committed to an aggressive electrification strategy anchored by five giga factories in Europe and North America,” Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stalantis, said in a release. “Today’s announcement reinforces our global battery production footprint and demonstrates Stellantis’ drive towards a decarbonized future as outlined in Dare Forward 2030.”
So how will Stalantis’ plans stack up against what’s already going on in the EV manufacturing landscape?
Tesla currently owns the world’s largest EV battery plant, which operates its gigafactory with Panasonic outside Reno, Nevada. The so-called Giga Nevada opened in 2016 and currently makes battery packs for many Tesla cars. The $ 5-billion facility was designed and built by Tesla in the form of about $ 1.5 billion in state aid and deferred taxes. The purpose of the plant is not only to make new Tesla 2170 nickel manganese cobalt lithium ion battery cells (21 mm diameter, 70 mm length), but also to recycle cell materials used in the new battery pack. Tesla also produces its 4680 batteries at the recently opened Giga Texas plant near Austin, although the plant’s primary purpose is to build vehicles, and if that vehicle is produced, it will be home to cybertruck production.
Other car manufacturers are also busy in the field. General Motors is building its own battery plant with LG in Lansing, Michigan. Ford is similarly working with SKI to build an EV battery lab in southeastern Michigan. Volkswagen is considering setting up a new battery plant near its U.S. manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Hyundai is spending about $ 5.5 billion to build a dedicated electric vehicle and battery plant outside Savannah, Georgia.
Stellantis itself recently announced plans to build a $ 4.1 billion joint venture plant with LG in Canada. Even newcomer Revian is looking to expand operations with a new $ 5 billion plant near Atlanta, Georgia for battery production and vehicle assembly. These new battery manufacturing facilities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to future investment in automobile manufacturing.
Many electric car manufacturers buy their battery packs from outside suppliers, such as A123, Panasonic, LG, Samsung and Amperex. In fact, Stellantis has already entered into agreements with Amperex, LG and Samsung to develop battery packs for its various global EV and hybrid products. That said, many automakers are following Tesla in the business of producing their own batteries in separate battery factories. This method helps to reduce the production barrier and significantly reduces the cost per unit.
The Stalantis plan to transform an all-EV lineup is driven by its European brands: Fiat, Citroen, Peugeot and especially Opel. The company promises to sell EVs only in Europe by 2030, and will sell at least 50 percent of the EVs in the U.S. market, with a separate plan for each of its automaker brands to achieve this transformation. According to Stellantis, it will contain at least 75 BEV nameplates worldwide, 25 of which will be available in the United States.
The company’s first new battery electric model is expected to hit the U.S. market in 2023 as a small urban Jeep based on its Compass compact crossover. Jeep, of course, is currently seeing great success with its plug-in hybrid Wrangler 4xe models, selling them as soon as it can. During last year’s Stalantis Evie Day, the Jeep was rebranded with the “Zero Emission Freedom” tagline and it looks like the company is ready to deliver on that promise.
The Chrysler brand of Stellantis recently announced the relaunch of the airflow model after a break of 86 years as a luxury electric crossover with a range of 350 to 400 miles. The new Wing brand tagline was launched last year as “Clean Technology for a New Generation of Families”. Similarly, Ram was rebranded as “built to serve a sustainable planet” and performance-based Dodge now has the tagline “Break the road, not the planet”.
The Cocomo plant will be one of the five Stalantis EV battery facilities worldwide. The company’s original plan called for the production of about 140 gigawatts of battery storage, but it was expanded to about 400 gigawatts as demand and market changed. Stellantis will not only need these five plants to meet the growing EV demand, but it will also continue to purchase battery packs from outside suppliers.