Stellantis has decided to embark on the journey towards carbon neutrality with several new dedicated electric vehicle platforms. This decade, the Stellantis group of brands will focus on the STLA range of platforms (pronounced as Stella) that will underpin a plethora of upcoming EVs from various segments across the world. Here’s everything we know about the new platforms:
Stellantis electric future
Last year, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares shared details about the group’s electrification roadmap during the annual general meeting. Stellantis revealed that it targeted to sell 400,000 LEVs (low emission vehicles) in 2021, an internal term for PHEVs and BEVs. In the 2021 results announcement, it was revealed that Stellantis managed to sell 388,000 LEVs, slightly short of its target.
Tavares added that by 2025, 98% of models in Europe and 96% of models in the U.S. would be available with electrified powertrain options; either BEVs, PHEVs, or HEVs. As shown below, by the end of the decade, all Stellantis models in Europe and the U.S. would have battery-electric alternatives.
This year, Stellantis will upgrade the eCMP platform to the next generation, and in 2026, it will replace the eCMP with the entry-level STLA platform, akin to the Volkswagen MEB Entry. In all, there would be four different new platforms, as Tavares has announced:
We have decided that we have a four-platform BEV-focused strategy. We have STLA Small for the A, B, and C segments, we have STLA Medium for C and D segments, and we have STLA Large for D and E segments – all of these related to passenger cars. And we will have one STLA frame dedicated platform for the electrified E and F SUVs and for the pickup trucks.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis Annual General Meeting 2021)
STLA platform begins in 2023
Stellantis announced that the STLA platforms would be released with a top-down approach during the annual general meeting. “We are bringing those platforms, dedicated BEV-focused platforms, from 2023,” Tavares said at the event. The CEO revealed that customers wouldn’t feel range anxiety thanks to the battery technology these platforms will incorporate.
The STLA Small for A, B, and C entry products will do more than 500 km of range, the STLA Medium will deliver more than 700 km of range, and the STLA Large will deliver more than 800 km of range. Those platforms are sized to deliver no less than those numbers that they’ve just mentioned, which will address what we call the range-anxiety issue of electrified vehicles. On the STLA Frame, we will have no less than 500 km of range.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis Annual General Meeting 2021)
|STLA Platform Version||Car Segment||Release Date|
|Small||A B & C||2026|
|Medium||C & D||2023|
|Large||D & E||2023|
|Frame||E & F (SUVs, pickup trucks & commercial vehicles)||2024|
Earlier reports suggested that the Giorgio platform, used by Alfa Romeo and Maserati, would be phased out after the STLA’s arrival. “We are working on the Large platform of Stellantis, and we will no longer use the Giorgio,” Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Alfa Romeo, said in April 2021 as per a report from Forbes.
However, it seems like the modified version of the Giorgio platform will exist for a few years. It is being used in the recently debuted Maserati Grecale Folgore and is also expected to underpin the electric versions of the GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Moreover, a recent Auto News report has suggested that four new STLA Medium-based cars will be made at the Stellantis plant in Melfi, Italy. These are expected to be Opel/Vauxhall, Lancia, and DS models.
Stellantis plans to develop its future models using the new platforms for different brands and vehicle segments. In brief, below is how Harald Wester, Chief Engineering Officer, Stellantis, divides the platform family:
They will unlock new facets of our brands, taking their efficiency and performances to the next level. Let me give you some examples. The Small platform reinforces efficient city mobility solutions for the Fiat and Citroen brands. Medium was designed for our premium DS and Alfa Romeo vehicles. Large is dedicated to a wide variety of SUVs, a highly innovative electrified pickup truck, and the next generation of American muscle cars with breakthrough performances. And last but not least, Frame creates convenience, capability, and practicality for our commercial vehicle range for pickup trucks and full-size SUVs.Harald Wester, Chief Engineering Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
STLA platform EVs have the following parameters
- 500 miles of maximum range
- Best-in-class efficiency per kilometer of under 4.3 miles/kWh (less than 12 kWh/100 km)
- 0-62 mph acceleration times as low as 2 seconds
- Class-leading fast-charging of 20 miles/minute (200 miles/10 minutes)
- Highest energy density reaching almost 60 kWh/meter
Our solution to the equation is based on four by design BEV platforms with the most efficient common toolbox and system: three core electric drive module families to ensure modularity in performances, and two battery cell chemistries to provide affordability to all.Harald Wester, Chief Engineering Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
The battery was the key focus while developing the STLA platforms to enable maximum embedded (total/gross) energy content. Depending on the car segment, a broad range of battery sizes, ranging between 37-200 kWh, can be accommodated in the STLA platforms.
The STLA Large models will measure 4.70-5.40 meters long and 1.90-2.03 meters wide. These cars would be high-performance and upmarket models from Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo brands, with their work cut out in the American market. The first vehicle to be based on the STLA Large could be the Dodge eMuscle, an all-electric, performance-focused muscle car, as per the Dare Forward 2030 presentation made by Stellantis in March 2022.
The STLA Large platform has outstanding fundamentals, with the batteries nice and low, the EDM motors at the edges, allowing for a variety of wheel sizes, suspension heights, and widths. All these components are out of the way, allowing us to do just about whatever we want on the top surface, allowing us to create a long-range luxury sedan, an all-conquering muscle car, a heart of market DV, a heart of market SUV, a very capable Jeep off-roading white-space opportunity vehicle, as well as a new mid-size truck.Ralph Gilles, Chief Design Officer, Stellantis (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
STLA platform powertrain & battery
Models based on the STLA platform will use third-generation electric powertrains. Michael Bly, Head of Global Propulsion Systems, Stellantis, said at the Stellantis EV Day 2021 that the optimized, integrated 3-in-1 electric drive module allows power systems that can produce 70-330 kW (95-449 hp), driveline flexibility of FWD, RWD, and AWD, and 4xe.
Stellantis will use three different electric drive modules in the STLA platform EVs. The strategy is to develop one power inverter for all three drive modules with scalable technology, a common microprocessor, and in-house proprietary controls and software. This inverter will run at 400 and 800 volts and have phase current capability from 350 to 750 amps to deliver up to 350 kW (476 hp). The company will use a selectable power device that is either silicon-based or silicon carbide-based.
These drive units are expected to be sourced from multiple regions across the globe to optimize costs. STLA platform models will be made in Europe and will get the electric drive units from NPe, the company’s joint venture with NIDEC. In North America and China, the company plans a mix of in-house production and outsourcing.
2024 onwards, the group plans to have a dual-chemistry strategy for its EV battery cells. It will likely use Nickel Cobalt-free cells in lower-end models and Nickel-based cells in higher-end models. Cobalt availability is scarce and is often linked to unethical extraction practices. The pack configuration will vary initially, but from 2026, it will switch to one unique cell-to-pack design.
Compared to 2020, the company sees costs go down by more than 40% at a module level in 2024 with module simplification, cell-size increase, and chemistry upgrade. Jean Personnaz, Electrified Powertrain Engineering, Stellantis, revealed these details at the Stellantis EV Day 2021.
Stellantis EV Roadmap
In the next five years, expect up to five new Stellantis pure electric models that would be halo products to showcase the capability of the STLA platform. As mentioned before, Stellantis has opted for a top-down approach for STLA, so expect more up-market models to debut first, followed by mass-market offerings.
The STLA platforms are expected to be highly software-based. They will be able to handle frequent OTA updates to improve user experience. Using data from its current 12 million vehicles that use connected car technology, Stellantis will learn how users operate the systems and integrate AI-based solutions for future models. Stellantis targets to deliver over 15 million OTA updates by 2023 for its current models, very few of which are EVs.
The new electrical/electronic and software architecture is christened the STLA Brain. It allows Stellantis to develop solutions for connected services, automated driving, cockpit, and powertrain. Joachim Langenwalter, SVP – Software Engineering, Stellantis, explains:
STLA Brain is our centralized architecture with a large central brain, ECU, surrounded by Zone ECUs, aggregating the sensors and actuators, and the edge ECUs, driving all functions in the vehicle.Joachim Langenwalter, SVP – Software Engineering, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)
Stellantis will use this first in an STLA Large platform model and later expand its usage to lower-segment models.
We are on track to launch the STLA Brain in 2024 on STLA Large, the vehicle platform. We will quickly roll it out into all our vehicle platforms from Small to Medium, Large, and to Frame, within the two years up.Joachim Langenwalter, SVP – Software Engineering, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)
The new systems can be continuously upgraded to become better. For instance, the STLA Brain will get periodic updates to become more capable. Initially, a model could come with Level 2+ autonomous driving functions, but it would be ready for Level 3 or even higher. A few OTA updates can make it Level 3 capable. Similarly, the voice assistant system could evolve to become a hyper-personalized digital assistant at a later stage. Stellantis plans to push updates for STLA Brain every quarter.
We are creating customer-centric features and services that will be continuously updated and refreshed, enhancing, creating value for all our customers and all our 14 brands. We are creating STLA Brain architecture for all our vehicles starting in 2024, together with number one solutions in cockpit, powertrain, and autonomous drive.Joachim Langenwalter, SVP – Software Engineering, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)
You could sense the deep commitment of our team to deliver on our software strategy: three technology platforms, an accelerated rollout on our four physical EV vehicle platforms, continuously upgrading vehicles over the year, offering new releases every quarter, ramping over the air updates capabilities to our fleets. Within three years, 100% of all new vehicles will be OTA updatable.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis Software Day 2021 on December 7, 2021)
USD 30 billion investment
Stellantis has committed a considerable sum for the transition towards dedicated EV platforms and new generation software integrated within. Stellantis is also expected to roll out solid-state battery-equipped cars from 2026, but that would require dedicated investment—Tavares shed light on this allocation at the EV Day 2021:
It’s EUR 30 billion ahead for the next five years, dedicated to electrification, and the part of software that you have on those 30 billion is the one that is supporting electrification. Of course, there will be other software related investments which will not necessarily be linked to electrification. Those ones will be commented in full when we’ll make a software day.Carlos Tavares, CEO, Stellantis (Stellantis EV Day 2021)
Featured Image Source: Stellantis