Stellantis, one of the world's leading automotive companies, unveiled its new ‘Charging & Energy' business unit on Tuesday, aiming to enhance the convenience of electric vehicle (EV) usage and capitalize on the growing market for sustainable mobility services.
Under this initiative, Stellantis will introduce a platform named Free2move Charge, offering a range of customer services. By the end of this year, the company plans to provide access to more than 500,000 charging points in Europe, in collaboration with partners. The move comes in response to the current inadequacy of charging infrastructure, which has contributed to ‘charging anxiety' among EV drivers.
While Stellantis explores various options to address this issue, including potential adoption of Tesla's charging standard, it remains under evaluation. Rivals such as Ford and General Motors have already forged agreements to implement Tesla's charging technology in North America. Ricardo Stamatti, the senior vice president of Stellantis' Charging & Energy Business Unit, expressed the company's anticipation to divulge further information regarding their evaluation soon.
Stellantis, recognized for brands such as Jeep, Ram, Peugeot, Fiat, and Opel, has set ambitious goals for its EV sales. By 2030, the company aims for 100% of its European passenger car sales and 50% of its U.S. passenger car and light-duty truck sales to be battery-powered EVs.
The establishment of the Charging & Energy unit also presents lucrative business opportunities for Stellantis. Stamatti acknowledged the potential profitability of operating charging stations, citing the favorable margins associated with energy consumption for charging points. However, he emphasized that the future of charging would encompass more than just energy provision; it would encompass various activities individuals engage in while charging, such as advertising, retail, and media consumption.
The Free2move Charge “ecosystem” will extend beyond charging services. It will also offer support for the installation of home charging facilities and cater to the needs of business customers associated with Stellantis brands. Additionally, the platform will grant access to a network of public charging points in North America, Europe, and other regions, which will be announced at a later date.
Significant investments will be made to realize these objectives, with key partners including energy companies, retailers, hardware manufacturers, and utilities. Further details, including financial targets for the business unit, will be unveiled throughout 2023. As the year progresses, Stellantis aims to provide a comprehensive outline of its plans and partnerships, fueling the development of an inclusive and efficient charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.