Stellantis is investing big money into local battery development.
If you don't have a good battery pack, your EV is pretty much dead in the water. Range anxiety is known to be one of the biggest deterrents for consumers who are still reluctant to make the switch from internal combustion engines. Despite this, manufacturers such as BMW don't think that a massive range figure is all too important when it comes to daily driving an electric car.
Regardless, manufacturers are looking forward in a bid to anticipate the seemingly inevitable EV rush with battery plants scheduled to be constructed all over North America. Mercedes-Benz has already confirmed that it will be dedicating $7 billion to the development of its Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant to develop battery tech. Toyota has also catered a substantial amount of cash for its local battery production destined for its hybrid vehicles, and now Stellantis has announced its plans for battery development.
Working together with LG, the automotive conglomerate has announced a $5 billion CAD ($4.1 billion US) investment that will be put towards a large-scale Lithium-ion battery facility to be constructed in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Packs produced here will be destined for cars that will be sold in the North American region.
We can expect ground to break on the new facility later this year with an official production launch penciled in for the beginning of 2024. This falls in line with its current proposed EV rollout consisting of the first-ever electrified Ram 1500 and Dodge muscle cars. It's not yet clear whether packs for existing electrified products such as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe Hybrid will also be produced here.
Stellantis anticipates that its new facility will result in 2,500 new jobs for the Windsor area and has garnered the support of all surrounding municipal, provincial and federal governments. The decision to base the plant in Windsor is strategic as it is closely positioned to the country's automotive hub, allowing for a more efficient supply chain network.
With this announcement, it's safe to assume that Stellantis is on track with its Dare Forward 2030 plan. Included in this is the bold goal of ensuring that half of its cars sold in North America, including passenger cars and light-duty trucks, will be battery electric vehicles. Part of this strategy is also the $329 million that is being reserved for investing in start-up firms that could help it get things up to speed.