New Charge Enterprises part of dual-fork, no-chances STLA strategy

Stellantis has been sending what some would call mixed signals lately, creating a brand new twin-turbo I-6 engine at the same time as it invests heavily in two North American battery plants (a promised third one was not yet been sited). In point of fact, the company is following its previously announced strategy of selling both internal-combustion and electric vehicles in the US, Canada, and Mexico—a strategy expected to see a 50/50 sales ratio of the two vehicle types in the calendar-year 2030.

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Part of this was a quick, rough-and-ready adaptation of the Hurricane engine for more power at the recent Mopar event, and part was the announcement today that Charge Enterprises will be an “EV charging installation partner” at Stellantis’ over-2600 US dealers.  As the company gets ready to deliver electric-only cars, dealers will need fast charging stations; Charge is part of that, claiming to provide a “full service solution for dealers.” (Charge Enterprises is a joint venture of European, Asian, and American automakers).

Stellantis has already set up solutions for EV battery recycling and is invested in both standard and solid state lithium-ion battery making. Like other automakers, the company has next-generation battery chemistries and designs being prepared. However, it has one disadvantage: its current-generation batteries, to be used in the Ram 1500 REV, can’t be fixed at the module level, according to a recent story. That may not be an issue for the solid state batteries; time will tell. By the time that 50/50 mix rolls around in 2030, chances are any existing batteries sold in the company’s EVs will have already been updated to newer designs. Six and a half years is a long time in the technology world, even if it’s the day after tomorrow in the automotive landscape.

With all the talk of electric cars, buyers tend to forget that the gasoline powered cars will stay in production for quite some time yet; they may be sold with supplemental motors, but they will still have gas tanks and (except of course for Cummins diesels) spark plugs. And, at the same time, Peugeot has developed ways to have the same chassis with a choice of batteries or hydrogen fuel cells at the factory; so if there is a breakthrough in hydrogen, Stellantis will be ready.

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