Stellantis Delays Second U.S Battery Plant Location: What You Need to Know

In recent years, Stellantis has stated its goal of being a significant player in the global market for electric vehicle batteries. Through strategic partnerships and facility development, the company is trying to catapult itself to the forefront of the electric vehicle industry.

2023 Ram Revolution BEV concept

Stellantis was due to announce the location of another United States battery plant, but has not yet done so despite signing a memorandum of understanding with Samsung SDI in July. The second plant is to start production in 2027. (The first US plant was announced in May for Kokomo, Indiana, and will start up in 2025.)

Background of Stellantis Battery Production

Stellantis, formed in January 2021 as a result of the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Groupe PSA, includes Maserati, Citroën, Peugeot, DS, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Alfa Romeo. The company has committed to leveraging the benefits of high volume and global scale to meet the increasing demand for efficient and sustainable vehicles, including electric vehicles (EVs), which it sees as a major part of future sales.

CJ Surge retromod BEV motor

Stellantis has taken a strategic approach to meet anticipated demands and challenges in the EV market. The company plans to achieve market leadership in low emission vehicles in Europe by 2030 and is therefore investing in electric vehicle components, including more than one battery technology (though not as many as global giant Toyota, which has a handful of different chemistry and technology projects in parallel—partly to make up for its late entry, and partly to avoid being beholden to suppliers).

Existing Facilities and Partnerships

Stellantis has already set out its European battery plant and one in Canada, near the Brampton assembly plant. It has teamed up with global equipment providers and raw material providers to support its battery production. A strategic partnership with Samsung SDI supplies most of its battery cells at the moment, while Stellantis and Total have announced a partnership to produce batteries in Europe.

Many were waiting for Stellantis to announce the location of another plant in the United States, but it’s possible the company is holding off for one of three reasons.

First, battery electric vehicle sales have not been increasing as quickly as expected, as new companies jumped into the market (notably Ford and Volkswagen).

Second, the existing battery module design may not be what Stellantis really needs, since it cannot be repaired on a modular level (as GM’s new Ultium batteries can). It’s also possible there have been snags in production levels or cost, but the first factor is the most likely one—a slower transition to electric cars.

Factorial CEO Siyu Huang and solid state battery
Factorial CEO Siyu Huang and solid state battery
Third, the company may want to use the plant as a concession to the UAW—for example, setting it up in the to-be-former Trenton Engine facility.
In the meantime, Tesla has again accelerated its EV manufacturing capabilities and is  building new facilities with longtime partner and technology supplier Panasonic. General Motors (GM) is still waiting for automated production equipment for its main Ultium plant; the new equipment is expected to slash the cost of its batteries. This may also be a consideration for Stellantis, which would likely be facing similar issues with regard to robotics.
Many people have an extreme anti-electric-car reaction, with some declaring joy that Ford has put a hold on one new American plant (a partnership with a Chinese company) and sadness and anger at Dodge for daring to make an electric car; despite all evidence to the contrary, some insist Dodge will never make more internal combustion cars. Stellantis may also be holding off on announcing the next factory until the latest moment until the new Charger and Challenger gasoline-powered cars are unveiled, for this reason.
There is a final and simpler explanation: the two companies have not yet decided upon a site—and there is really no cause for urgency when the plant won’t be up and running until 2027. In essence, they probably have two years before they need to start construction.
Two days ago, Samsung SDI confirmed to investors that it plans to build a second plant with Stellantis in the United States, investing $2 billion to do so. The number of battery plants is, in short, unchanged from July—and from the company’s first presentation on the topic.