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Ever since Stellantis announced its Dare Forward business strategy, the automotive group has been quickly making investments and signing agreements to match targets for production. Starting with solving the semiconductor shortage with Hon Hai Technology Group, Stellantis also started building a new U.S. EV Battery Plant in Kokomo. With a starting goal of an annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt-hours, the new plant will be the main one U.S. plant to fulfill the promise of releasing 75 BEVs over the next six years, with 25 models available in the states. Next up, Stellantis invests $155 million in three Kokomo, Indiana, plants to produce a new electric drive module (EDM) that will help power future battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) assembled in North America.
This all goes back to the STLA Frame, the BEV-by-design body-on-frame architecture designed by Stellantis for future models. Evolving over the years with Amazon, Chrysler demonstrated how the new STLA platforms, run by an STLA Brain operating system, can offer greater convenience and connectivity with the STLA SmartCockpit. A vehicle concept that could one day offer full level 4 or 5 autonomy with OTA updates, a new virtual assistant is just the start of offering the driver and passengers more freedom on the road. Think, movie theater on a road trip. That’s what we’re aiming for in the auto industry, and these new BEVs will need something to power it.
“While we continue our successful transition to a decarbonized future in our European operations, we are now setting those same foundational elements for the North American market…By combining the benefits of the EDM with our new BEV-centric platforms and innovative battery technologies, we will offer our customers a variety of electric vehicles with unparalleled performance and range at more affordable prices. And with our in-house manufacturing capabilities and expertise, we will do it with greater flexibility and efficiency.” - Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO
This new EDM will be powering at least 50-percent of all BEVs sold in the U.S. by 2030. Built on the STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms, this new EDM is going to be the all-in-one solution for Stellantis going forward. Like Vicks vapor rub, it can fix anything, and all it takes is three main components – the electric motor, power electronics, and transmission. Stellantis mixes it all together to create BEVs that can provide high performance at a competitive cost and provide a driving range up to 500 miles. Maybe the automotive group has learned from the market.
The three investments will go towards the Indiana Transmission, Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting plants. For the new gearbox, the casting will be provided by Kokomo Casting, and is then machined at Kokomo Transmission. Final assembly of the gearbox is completed at the Indiana Transmission Plant. After some retooling of these plants, production of the new gearbox and EDM is expected to start in the third quarter of 2024. Will an annual production capacity of 23 gigawatt-hours be enough with such a late start? Starting us off is the Ram 1500 REV and Dodge Hornet PHEV, a whole new look for some of Stellantis most famous automakers.
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Photo Source/Copyright: Stellantis