Stellantis CEO: EVs Need to Be More Affordable for Middle-Class Drivers

As EV technology rapidly progresses, demand for these vehicles is expected to grow. The Nissan Leaf, which was groundbreaking and popular upon its release, can barely keep up with Tesla and Ford rivals’ success. Kia fans were disappointed the Soul EV won’t come to the States, though the Niro EV isn’t a terrible compromise.

However, many prospective EV drivers aren’t willing to compromise on the high prices of many electric vehicles. That battery might make an EV last longer than a gas engine, but it also contributes to its high price point. Thankfully, more automakers, including Stellantis, are beginning to understand the importance of affordable EVs.

Stellantis and its lineup

Stellantis was previously known as FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), which contains Chrysler and Fiat. The company is responsible for producing capable favorites such as the Ram 1500 and Jeep Wrangler. Stellantis also owns two of the most famous Italian luxury automotive brands: Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

Stellantis plans to have 55 EVs on the market by 2025, with availability in both Europe and the United States. Current electric offerings from Stellantis are sparse, but the Fiat 500e is still worth mentioning. It comes with a peppy 118-hp engine and 199 miles of range, plus a fancy interior. The automaker also plans to release a hydrogen fuel cell commercial van at the end of this year.

Stellantis CEO pushes for cheaper EVs

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares answers journalists' questions after a private visit at the plant of Dutch multinational automotive manufacturing company Stellantis on July 2, 2021
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares | DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, admits that the rising cost of EVs is a big hurdle for some consumers, Ward’s Auto reports. In addition to MSRPs, EV production costs are also on the rise by about 40%. As more EV models enter the market, their sales will continue encouraging the production of new models. Approximately 40% of automotive sales will be for EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2030.

However, Tavares claims the merger between Fiat-Chrysler and Peugeot (which created Stellantis) has allowed major cost reductions. The company saved $5.9 billion by spreading development costs and repurposing existing platforms. Additionally, Tavares predicts a huge demand for EVs between 2030 and 2035.

He says other companies should follow Stellantis’ example by cutting redundant costs to prepare for production increases. There’s always the possibility unprepared automakers might not have enough resources to support the demand. More important, consumers won’t have to pay as much for an EV if its production costs are lower.

The automaker’s electric future

Stellantis has plenty planned on the EV front, notably the Ram 1500, Autoweek reports. Set to debut in 2024, the “eRam” will travel 500 miles on a full charge and probably boast an equally impressive towing capacity. Stellantis has also teased that the electric Ram 1500 will have more interior tech than rivals.

The Dodge eMuscle, the first all-electric muscle car, is also gunning for a 2024 model year release. It comes with two electric motors, which could make a staggering 900 hp. It will reportedly also travel 500 miles on a full charge and reach 60 mph in two seconds.

By 2025, Stellantis also promises that every Jeep model will have an optional electric powertrain. The 2022 Grand Cherokee and Wrangler 4xe — both PHEVs — have already been revealed. The Wrangler 4xe gets the better mileage, with 25 miles of electric range and 50 MPGe in electric-only mode.

With so many impressive Stellantis EVs on the horizon, more consumers will undoubtedly be eager to drive them. If they can experience EVs’ benefits for a lower purchase price, that makes it even better.

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