Over the past year, it seems that all of the major automakers (with the exception of Toyota) have announced plans to move towards a future of all-electric vehicles (EVs). Among them, Stellantis announced during its EV Day Presentation in July, that it would invest about $34 billion (€30 billion) through 2025 for all of its 14 brand portfolios to offer electrified vehicle options.
The move has been praised by some and even allowed Stellantis’ stock to surge over 60% in the first year after the merger. But it also has some people questioning the cost, infrastructure, and just how much climate impact will the change have, compared to the fast timeline automakers are moving.
As the European Commission’s decision to phase out internal combustion engine (ICE) powered vehicles in favor of EVs has moved forward, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares has stated that the decision “carries environmental and social risks”.
The ban on ICE vehicles by 2035, has automakers quickly trying to alter their future plans. This includes transforming their plants and supply chains as quickly as they can. Stellantis has already announced several companies it would be partnering with to build the batteries it needs for its future products, such as Automotive Cells Company, Factorial Energy, LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and Vulcan Energy.
“The big question is the global approach to the environmental quality of the electricity consumed and I notice that this actually puts nuclear energy back on the agenda for environmentalists. We also need to talk about the CO2 footprint of batteries. With Europe’s energy mix, an electric vehicle has to travel 70,000 kilometers (44,000 miles) before offsetting the CO2 footprint created by battery manufacturing. Only then does it begin to widen the gap with a light hybrid vehicle,” the Stellantis CEO said.
When asked if “he was expressing considerable skepticism”, Tavares stated, “We also know that a light hybrid vehicle costs half as much as an electric vehicle. Ultimately, it is better to accept very efficient thermal hybrid cars so that they remain affordable and provide immediate CO2 benefit, or you need to have 100% electric vehicles that the middle classes will not be able to afford while asking governments to continue increasing their budget deficits to provide incentives? This is a social debate that I would like to have, but for now, I don’t see it.”
Stellantis has announced that it will give a detailed look at the company’s future electrification plans and efforts on Tuesday, March 1st when it will announce its new long-term strategic plan.
Source: Corriere della Sera