Stellantis, the oddly named conglomerate created in 2021 that introduced Fiat Chrysler and PSA collectively below one company roof, has by no means been a pacesetter of the EV revolution. Sergio Marchionne, who was the pinnacle of Fiat Chrysler earlier than the merger, begged folks to not purchase the primary version of the Fiat 500e as a result of he stated the corporate misplaced an excessive amount of cash on every automobile offered.
In North America, most individuals have by no means heard of Stellantis however are conversant in the Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler, and Ram manufacturers, none of which is related to pushing the envelope on electrical automobiles. That’s about to vary. Ram is engaged on an electrical pickup truck to fulfill the problem from Ford and Chevrolet. Dodge says it has battery electrical variations of its Charger/Challenger muscle automobiles coming that may outperform even the mightiest of its legendary muscle automobiles. And Chrysler has teased a future battery electrical sedan that will or might not be referred to as the Airflow, a nod to a previous (and spectacularly unsuccessful) sedan launched in 1934.
In auto manufacturing at present, most firms begin with a platform, generally known as a device equipment. There are specific exhausting factors that must be standardized between varied fashions with a purpose to make them in giant numbers profitably. Issues like the place the entrance and rear wheels get connected to the chassis, the place the engine and transmission mounting factors are, and the place the vents for the local weather management system might be positioned.
The automobiles constructed on the identical platform could look very totally different on the skin, however below the sheetmetal, they’ll have many issues in frequent. The wheelbase or width could fluctuate, however the wheels nonetheless get connected in the identical location, the engines and transmissions all bolt into the identical locations, and the ductwork behind the sprint is an identical.
For electrical automobiles, the idea is similar, however the parts are totally different. There aren’t any engines or transmissions to put in, however battery packs, motors, inverters, and such are designed to suit a standard platform. One of the best present instance of that is the MEB platform utilized by Volkswagen for its ID. electrical automobiles. Up to now, it serves as the premise for the ID.3 hatchback sedan, the ID.4 and ID.5 SUVs, the ID.7 sedan, and the ID. Buzz. Put them facet by facet they usually look nothing like one another, however they share a standard platform.
Stellantis Introduces STLA Medium Platform
Stellantis has now launched particulars about its newest EV platform, referred to as the STLA Medium, which it says will change into the premise for lots of the battery electrical fashions it plans to introduce within the subsequent few years. The corporate’s purpose is for all of the automobiles it sells in Europe to be BEVs by 2030. Its objectives for North America are extra modest, with half of its automobiles offered there to be battery powered by 2030. Stellantis says the STLA Medium platform is the best dimension for 26 of the fashions it at present manufactures.
The corporate will meet the wants of all different fashions by utilizing one of many different BEV platforms it’s engaged on, referred to as STLA Small, STLA Giant, and STLA Body. It appears a protected guess that final one is supposed for electrical pickup vehicles and vans.
“STLA Medium is meant to be manufactured in lots of nations: France, Italy, Germany after which in North America in numerous places,” CEO Carlos Tavares stated. Additional places may very well be added at a later stage, in accordance with Tavares.
In keeping with Automotive and Driver, the STLA Medium platform will function 400-volt structure and 20% to 80% battery recharging instances of about 27 minutes utilizing a DC quick charger. Two battery sizes might be provided. The bigger battery may have a usable capability of 98 kWh, which ought to present for a spread of about 370 miles utilizing the EPA customary. A smaller battery may even be provided. Stellantis has supplied no particulars however says it’ll have an EPA vary of round 265 miles (which is exactly the vary of the present Chevy Bolt). Each battery packs may have the identical exterior dimensions, the higher to advertise environment friendly set up into the STLA Medium platform.
FWD or AWD
Stellantis says the brand new platform might be able to dealing with twin motors. Automobiles with one motor might be front-wheel drive. Energy numbers are anticipated to vary from 214 horsepower (160 kW) as much as 382 horsepower (285 kW). No acceleration or torque data has been given.
Automotive and Driver says the primary automobile offered in North America is predicted to be a sedan that may carry the Chrysler badge, though whether or not it is going to be referred to as Airflow or not is unknown. No matter it’s, it gained’t be in showrooms any time quickly. The corporate does say the platform may have “excessive off-road functionality,” which strongly suggests it’ll discover its approach right into a Jeep branded automobile ultimately. Stellantis did showcase an idea electrical Jeep referred to as the Recon final yr that intently resembles the look of the brand new Ford Bronco and the upcoming Scout off-road automobiles from Volkswagen.
The journal first stated 2026 was the yr the primary STLA Medium based mostly automobile would arrive in North America, however Stellantis has since backed away from naming any date when the automobile may be accessible. It did say it expects the brand new platform to be the premise for round 2 million new automobiles by 2030. The corporate offered 6 million automobiles final yr.
Why 400 Volts?
Just a few years in the past, 400 volts was the usual of alternative for many electrical automobiles. In keeping with Automobiles Information, Tesla makes use of 350 volts for the Mannequin 3 and Mannequin X, 375 volts for the Mannequin S, and 400 volts for the Mannequin Y. However issues are altering as producers start switching to 800-volt architectures. Though they value extra to engineer, they enable automobiles to cost considerably sooner.
The upper voltage creates a decrease present, which reduces warmth. That in flip reduces energy calls for from battery cooling methods. Decrease present additionally means charging cables will be thinner and fewer cumbersome, whereas some electrical parts within the automobile will also be thinner and smaller, making the automobile lighter and extra environment friendly.
Hyundai simply introduced it’s investing $80 billion to up its EV recreation. A big a part of that may go to the event of its new 800-volt Built-in Modular Platform that may exchange the E-GMP platform that has been the muse of most of its electrical automobiles presently available on the market.
So, why is the STLA Medium designed across the 400-volt customary? Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares advised the press this week the principle motive the corporate determined to go in that course was to assist maintain the upcoming EV fashions reasonably priced. He did say that the STLA Medium platform was designed to simply accept an 800-volt system, so it’s potential to introduce that improve sooner or later. The brand new platform can be designed to simply accept different powertrain configurations, which leaves the door open for plug-in hybrid fashions if there’s a demand for them.
The corporate says the STLA Medium platform might be suitable with new battery applied sciences as they change into accessible, whether or not meaning solid-state batteries or people who keep away from using nickel and/or cobalt. The primary automobile to make use of the brand new platform would be the subsequent version of the Peugeot 3008.
The response among the many secure of writers right here at CleanTechnica is the sound of 1 hand clapping. Whereas it’s good to see Carlos Tavares lastly taking EVs significantly, the brand new platform breaks no new floor and nonetheless has one foot planted prior to now. There may be little sense that Stellantis is pushing to be a pacesetter of the EV revolution reasonably than a follower on a path blazed by others. Will the STLA Medium platform be adequate? Ask us in 2026.
I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we applied a restricted paywall for some time, nevertheless it at all times felt incorrect — and it was at all times robust to resolve what we must always put behind there. In idea, your most unique and greatest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer folks learn it! We simply don’t love paywalls, and so we have determined to ditch ours.
Sadly, the media enterprise remains to be a troublesome, cut-throat enterprise with tiny margins. It is a unending Olympic problem to remain above water and even maybe — gasp — develop. So …