Stellantis and Samsung SDI have unveiled their plans to pour $3.2 billion into a new electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Kokomo, Indiana. This marks Stellantis’ sixth global battery plant and its second in the U.S.
StarPlus Energy’s Growing Footprint
Operating under the joint venture StarPlus Energy, the two giants have already initiated the construction of their first U.S. battery plant in Kokomo. The upcoming second factory is slated to kick off production in early 2027, boasting an annual capacity of 34 gigawatt hours (GWh). The combined investment for both these factories is projected to surpass $6.3 billion, generating 2,800 new job opportunities.
First Gigafactory’s Progress
Stellantis has confirmed that the first StarPlus Energy gigafactory, currently under construction, is set to commence operations by the first quarter of 2025. This facility will have an annual production capacity of 33 GWh.
Electrification Strategy and Partnerships
Mark Stewart, Stellantis COO North America, emphasized the significance of their battery ecosystem in their electrification blueprint. He expressed gratitude towards their partners, Samsung SDI, the state of Indiana, and the city of Kokomo, for making the establishment of their sixth gigafactory in Kokomo feasible. Stewart highlighted the role of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) in their North American brands, emphasizing their commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2038.
Previous Announcements and Current Challenges
While Stellantis and Samsung SDI had previously hinted at the construction of a second battery plant in July, they had kept the location and other specifics under wraps. This recent announcement comes amidst challenging times for Stellantis, as they navigate negotiations with the striking United Autoworkers. The ongoing strike, which also impacts GM and Ford, is currently in its fourth week.
UAW’s Stance on Battery Plants
The establishment of battery plants and the potential employment they offer is a focal point for the UAW. The organization has expressed concerns over the potential for these roles to be low-wage jobs. Last week, GM made a significant concession to the UAW, led by Shawn Fain, agreeing to incorporate future EV battery jobs in any forthcoming national agreement. The UAW is now in talks with Ford and Stellantis, both of which are transitioning from internal combustion engines to a more electric-centric portfolio.
Stellantis’ Future Vision
Stellantis envisions a future where 100% of its passenger-car sales in Europe are battery-electric vehicles. Additionally, they aim for a 50% mix of passenger-car and light-duty truck BEV sales in the U.S. by 2030.
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