Tonale EPA tests done, official mpg figures and electric range released

Tonale badge

The Alfa Romeo Tonale, which is on its way to dealerships now, has completed EPA gas mileage testing for an estimated all-electric range of 33 miles, and a 77 MPGe rating. With a full battery charge and gasoline in the tank, the Tonale can run 360 miles; combined city/highway fuel economy as a hybrid is 29 mpg. It is billed as the most efficient plug-in hybrid C-sized SUV in its class.  [Read more…]

STLA partner opens French battery plant

2022 Fiat 500 electric (BEV)

STLA partner First Automotive Cells (ACC) has opened up the first of its three planned European battery plants in France.  The line will produce 13 gigawatt-hours initially, rising to 40 by 2030. ACC was founded by Stellantis and TotalEnergies/Saft three years ago; Mercedes joined the group last year. Stellantis sells 24 battery-electric vehicles in Europe, … Read more

Stellantis building up hydrogen capacity with Symbio

hydrogen Ram truck (heavy duty)

Stellantis is keeping its bet on hydrogen even as it builds battery plants with a one-third stake in Symbio, a hydrogen fuel cell company. The other share holders are Faurecia and Michelin, each holding an equal portion.

Peugeot can build the same car with either battery-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell power sources. Symbio plans to start making 50,000 fuel cells per year by 2025 at its Saint Fons plant, which starts production in the second half of this year. Overall, Symbio plans to make 100,000 fuel cell systems per year by 2028, all in France, creating 1,000 jobs in the country. [Read more…]

Recall Monday hits Explorer, German companies; no Mopars; and the end of Maserati V8s

This week was a busy one for the NHTSA. The 2020-22 Ford Explorer had two recalls, one on an “incomplete” computer update that could result in cars rolling away; and one on rear view images not showing up. Land Rover had a recall for the storage compartment latch failing on the 2022-23 Range Rover and 2023 Range Rover Sport, and 2022-23 Ferrari 296 fuel pipes may leak. GM recalled the 2014-17 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, and GMC Acadia because the driver’s airbag inflator may explode.

By far, though, German automakers had the most recalls for the month. [Read more…]

STLA replacing Opel Grandland with BEV

Jeep Renegade and Opel Grandland twins

Stellantis is investing €130 million into upgrades to its Eisenach Assembly Plant in Germany to make an electric successor to the Opel Grandland crossover. It will launch in the second half of 2024, part of the push to make Opel’s lineup completely electric-powered by 2028. Europe is shifting to electric cars rapidly, as automakers shift … Read more

STLA backing electric van conversions

circular economy (cradle to cradle)

Stellantis has signed a partnership deal with Qinomic to retrofit light commercial vehicles with electric powertrains. Many companies and people who own light commercial vehicles customize them; some put more money into the customizations than the vehicles themselves. Retrofitting these with electric power can give them a new life when the engine or transmission get … Read more

Fiat 500e is official

Fiat 500e reveal

The new, larger Fiat 500e will be available in the US and Canada starting in early 2024. The official reveal will be at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show. Fiat celebrated the event with three one-off fashion concepts. Fiat sales in North America have been minimal, though they have a hefty number of dedicated showrooms. … Read more

Chrysler, Fiat doing LA reveals; Dodge, Jeep, Ram showing new vehicles

500e reveal

The Los Angeles show will see a new version of the Chrysler Pacifica and an “electric” reveal of one of the “most iconic and classic FIAT brand models of all time.” The Fiat is almost certainly the new-and-improved 500e already on sale in Europe. While it’s possible there will be a new generation of the … Read more

Is Fiat bringing back the 500?

2022 Fiat 500 electric (BEV)

Fiat came into North America with one car, its new 500 subcompact. As sales plummeted the company tried to entice customers with a standard turbocharger, to no avail, and today the 500X is Fiat’s sole car—the 500L and 124 Spider both having disappeared as well. Fiat is due to show a new car at the … Read more

Ouch! STLA gives up market share to VW

2013 Jeep Avenger

In Europe—the EU+EFTA+UK—Volkswagen’s share rose to 23.8% of the total market, followed by Stellantis at 16.6%. Last September, those numbers were 21% and 18.4% as Stellantis lost 1.8 points of share and Volkswagen gained 2.5 points. To a degree, these changes are supply-dependent. Year to date, Stellantis’ share is far better, though lower than year-to-date … Read more

Inside the new engine coming to the USA for STLA Medium

EP6 Peugeot engine for Stellantis STLA Medium 1.6 hybrids

On Monday, FCA US announced that it would be making a 1.6 liter turbocharged engine for use with hybrid powertrains in two American vehicles. This engine appears to be a new edition in the established EP6 series. The first EP6 four-cylinders had rather public issues with the valve timing; when these were fixed, PSA assigned the … Read more