Stellantis, the automaker with a portfolio of 14 brands that includes Jeep, Ram, Peugeot, and Citroën, is planning four new platforms for battery-electric vehicles as part of its electrification strategy. The company revealed its new EV strategy on Thursday morning, laying out a roadmap that it says will result in class-leading EVs in every segment, from small city cars to body-on-frame pickup trucks and commercial vans.
“The customer is always at the heart of Stellantis, and our commitment with this €30 billion [$35.5 billion] plus investment plan is to offer iconic vehicles that have the performance, capability, style, comfort and electric range that fit seamlessly into their daily lives,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis’ chief executive officer. “The strategy we laid out today focuses the right amount of investment on the right technology to reach the market at the right time, ensuring that Stellantis powers the freedom of movement in the most efficient, affordable and sustainable way.”
The STLA Small platform will be for city cars with a range of up to 300 miles (500 km), and we’re unlikely to see many of them here in the US, barring some fundamental shift in North American attitudes toward small, slow, cheap cars. STLA medium will give rise to compact EVs with a range of up to 440 miles (700 km).
STLA Large is for AWD performance cars, and importantly for the US market, muscle cars and SUVs. Stellantis says that eight vehicles built on the STLA Large platform will come to market in the next 3-5 years and that it’s targeting 4.3 miles/kWh (6.9 km/kWh) for US-bound EVs.
Finally, there is the STLA Frame, which (as the name suggests) is a body-on-frame platform as opposed to the monocoque construction of the other three STLA EV platforms. STLA Frame will be used for full-size pickups and commercial vehicles, with an electric Ram 1500 truck due in 2024. Stellantis also briefly mentioned something called the “Range Electric Paradigm Breaker,” which sounds like it might be a series hybrid, but Stellantis says it’s not prepared to share any more details on the REPB yet.
Each platform will be up to 2 million units a year. Volume and a high degree of shared components are key for both speed to market as well as cost control, Stellantis says. There will be three core drive modules that package the electric motor together with the transmission and power inverter. These drive modules also will be suitable for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive applications, as well as 4xe in the case of plug-in hybrid Jeeps.
Power output will scale from 70 kW (94 hp) up to 330 kW (442 hp), with the most powerful drive modules operating at 800 V (as opposed to 400 V). There is a single common inverter across all three drive modules, which Stellantis says can operate at both voltages, with the main difference being the use of either silicon or silicon carbide semiconductors. Stellantis says it plans to build motors locally for each market, and in the US and China that will include building them in-house as well as from suppliers.
The new platforms will use a pair of battery-cell chemistries, one that uses no nickel or cobalt, and the other a high-energy density chemistry. (Additionally, it says that it will introduce solid-state battery packs by 2026.) STLA Small vehicles will use packs with capacities between 37 kWh and 82 kWh. STLA Medium EVs will carry between 87 kWh and 104 kWh, STLA Large will use packs of 101 kWh and 118 kWh, and STLA Frame will require between 159 kWh and 200 kWh packs. By 2030, that will require more than 260 GWh/year, which will be provided by five massive battery factories in Europe and North America. By that time, 70 percent of Stellantis’ European sales and 40 percent of its North American sales will be low-emissions vehicles, it says.