Stellantis plans $2.5 billion factory with battery supplier Samsung SDI

The parent company of Jeep, Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, and more—Stellantis—has announced a joint-venture electric-vehicle battery plant with South Korea’s Samsung SDI, in Kokomo, Indiana. 

Due to start in 2025, the Indiana plant will create 1,400 jobs and will have an initial annual capacity of 23 gigawatt-hours, with aims to hit 33 GWh within several years. Stellantis says that the investment will sum more than $2.5 billion and could increase to $3.1 billion. 

It’s a smaller plant than the one confirmed some weeks ago for Canada. The Windsor, Ontario, plant with LG Energy Solution due in early 2024 aims for more than 45 GWh and 2,500 jobs, and it will cost $4.1 billion.

“The total capacity would increase further as demand for Stellantis electric vehicles is expected to rise,” said the automaker, in a release about the Indiana plant. 

STLA Large platform  -  Stellantis EVs

STLA Large platform – Stellantis EVs

Kokomo is already the site of a prolific, UAW-represented transmission plant, which was revamped less than a decade ago to build new-generation eight- and nine-speed transmissions, then restarted again recently to make engines. 

Stellantis said that it aims for 400 GWh of annual capacity by 2030, including two in North America. These two will be feeding what Stellantis claims by then will be half of its U.S. sales. Given Stellantis’ truck focus in North America, the 78 GWh from these two plants could be enough for a half a million larger electric trucks and SUVs a year. 

As the company outlined last summer, it plans to spend about $35.5 billion over five years, across its 14 very diverse global brands, with four EV platforms underpinning a slate of vehicles ranging from an electric Dodge muscle car to an electric Ram pickup and, farther off, an electric reinterpretation of the Chrysler minivan. 

Future Jeep EV  -  2021 Stellantis EV Day

Future Jeep EV – 2021 Stellantis EV Day

Teaser for electric Ram 1500 due in 2024

Teaser for electric Ram 1500 due in 2024

Dodge EV muscle car and platform  -  2021 Stellantis EV Day

Dodge EV muscle car and platform – 2021 Stellantis EV Day

The investment is the latest in a long series of matches made between automakers and battery suppliers over the past two years. GM is teaming with LG Energy Solution for producing its large-format pouch cells for its Ultium architecture; Ford is partnering with SK Innovation, with a Georgia SKI plant already supplying cells for the F-150 Lightning. Both of those battery suppliers are based in South Korea. Tesla has a long-running partnership with Japan’s Panasonic. 

Additionally, Hyundai revealed last week that it plans to make 300,000 EVs annually in Georgia, at a plant that will start producing vehicles in 2025; a companion battery plant is in the works, too, with a joint-venture partner yet to be announced. 

Samsung SDI was the supplier of cells for the BMW i3 and other formative electric vehicles, and it’s currently the primary supplier for Rivian. The battery company itself has reportedly been looking for sites for a battery plant of its own—including in Illinois, near Rivian’s factory.

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