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Stellantis and Samsung SDI Will Build EV Batteries at a New Indiana Plant

Roadshow logo Roadshow 2022-05-24 Andrew Krok
Stellantis' many brands have some pretty neat electric cars coming down the pipeline. Chrysler © Provided by Roadshow Stellantis' many brands have some pretty neat electric cars coming down the pipeline. Chrysler

Stellantis, the global automaking conglomerate that was once known as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, hasn't exactly been at the forefront of the battery-electric zeitgeist in the US. That said, the company has been rolling out plug-in hybrids aplenty, and with a number of EVs just over the horizon, it'll need a lot of batteries. So, now it'll build those, too.

Stellantis and Samsung SDI on Tuesday announced a $2.5 billion investment in a joint venture that will see the two companies combining forces to build electric-vehicle batteries. The plant will be located in Kokomo, Indiana. It's not just for that sweet Beach Boys song, either; Stellantis already has engine, transmission and casting facilities there, so it makes good sense to add battery manufacturing to that portfolio.

The plant is estimated to begin producing EV batteries in 2025, and it should create approximately 1,400 new jobs in the process. Stellantis and Samsung SDI are targeting a 23-gigawatt-hour capacity to begin, with an eventual expansion to 33 gWh. The scope of the investment has the possibility to grow over time, as well, with both companies saying there's room to increase the overall financing to $3.1 billion.

For context, Ford and SK Innovation are hoping to produce 43 gWh at one of their new joint-venture facilities outside Memphis, Tennessee, so Stellantis is definitely keeping up with the Joneses. But Ford and Stellantis are hardly the only automakers dipping their feet into US battery manufacturing. Mercedes-Benz's Alabama plant recently had its grand opening, and it will supply the EVs the company will build not too far down the road. Two years ago, Volkswagen also broke ground on a battery plant, located near its other facilities in Tennessee.

Stellantis might be behind when it comes to BEVs in the US, but it's working to shore up that gap across its many domestic brands. Jeep will launch its first electric SUV next year, and it looks pretty sharp, but the company is already producing plug-in hybrid variants of its popular models, the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. Dodge has a PHEV in the works, and we'll see its take on an electric muscle car in the near future, as well. And don't forget about Ram, which is set to enter the electric-pickup arena in 2024.

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