Stellantis debuts electric Jeep, promises new energy goal

Stellanti CEO Carlos Tavares photographed next to a Jeep Avenger at the Paris Motor Show on October 17, 2022.

Nathan Laine | Bloomberg | Getty Images

CEO of Stellantis told CNBC on Monday that the company would use its own facilities to generate half the energy it needs for manufacturing by the middle of this decade.

“We have decided on the appropriate investments for Stellantis to be able, from a manufacturing point of view, by 2025 to produce 50% of our energy needs within our own facilities,” Carlos Tavares, who spoke to CNBC’s Charlotte Reed at the Paris Motor Show, said.

Tavares’ comments came as Stellantis prepared to debut what he called “the first pure EV Jeep” after details of the vehicle were published last month.

According to Stellantis, the Jeep Avenger’s “targeted electric range” is 400 kilometers, or just under 249 miles.

The company – whose brands include Fiat, Chrysler and Citroen – is set to open up reservations for the Avenger on Monday, and it is expected to arrive in showrooms next year.

Stellantis wants all passenger sales in Europe to be battery electric by 2030. In the US, they want a “50% sales mix for passenger cars and light trucks BEV” within the same time frame.

The above targets come as major economies lay out plans to move away from the internal combustion engine in favor of battery-powered electric vehicles.

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Switch to electric vehicles

During his interview with CNBC, Tavares was asked if talk of a recession, cost of living crisis, inflation and energy prices would have a delaying effect on the transition to electric vehicles.

“Yes, of course energy is the number one prerequisite for the success of electrification, that’s no surprise,” he replied.

“The question you’re asking me is the question you should be asking the political leaders because, as you know, electrification has been triggered by regulation,” he said.

“So yeah, obviously there’s a bump in the road,” he later added. “I hope that is a short-term hurdle that we will all be able to overcome, and Stellantis is now full speed ahead with all electric vehicles, starting with the new Jeep Avenger, the first pure EV Jeep.”

Asked about the EU’s plans to phase out sales of new ICE cars and vans by 2035, Tavares said it was “clear that the decision to ban pure ICE cars is a purely dogmatic decision.”

Expanding on his point, the Stellantis chief said he would recommend that Europe’s political leaders “be more pragmatic and less dogmatic.”

“I think there is the opportunity – and the need – for a more pragmatic approach to managing the transition.”

Stellanti’s electric vehicle plans put it in competition with companies like Elon Musk’s Tesla as well as companies that Volkswagen, Fordand GM. According to the International Energy Agency, sales of electric cars are on track to reach an all-time high this year.

In recent years, a number of factors have created pressure points in the availability of materials critical to EVs, an issue the IEA highlighted earlier this year in its Global EV Outlook.

“The rapid increase in sales of electric cars during the pandemic has tested the resilience of battery supply chains, and Russia’s war in Ukraine has further exacerbated the challenge,” the IEA report noted, adding that prices of materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel “have risen.”

“In May 2022, lithium prices were over seven times higher than at the start of 2021,” it added. “Unprecedented demand for batteries and a lack of structural investment in new supply capacity are key factors.”

Regarding the raw materials required for electric cars and their batteries, Mercedes-Benz CEO Kallenius outlined the current situation as he saw it.

“Commodity prices have been quite volatile over the last 12 to 18 months – some have gone up and some have actually gone back down,” he said.

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“But it’s true as we go electric, all-electric and more and more automakers get into the electric space, there’s a need to increase mining capacity and refining capacity for lithium, nickel and some of the raw materials needed to produce electric cars.”

“We have everything we need now, but we need to look at the medium to long term and work with the mining industry here to increase capacity.”


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