Stellantis: Gasoline-Powered Vehicles Until 2050
Even though the majority of automakers offer several electric models, the electrification of the automotive industry is not progressing as quickly as expected a few years ago. In fact, Christian Mueller, the Vice President of Stellantis, reportedly told Reuters magazine that internal combustion engines should continue to be part of the group\'s lineup until at least 2050, even when electric models have taken the lead.
Several reasons explain this situation, starting with the COVID-19 crisis. The labor shortage caused by the virus has led to significant delays at all levels. Then there is the ongoing materials shortage, which is still a problem today. Infrastructure development is far from being as advanced as initially anticipated. Additionally, there have been price surges and increases in interest rates in certain markets. All of these factors have resulted in the development of new models and technologies being much slower than anticipated.
Alternative Energy Sources
While electricity is undoubtedly part of the automotive future solution, it is not the only option. Several manufacturers are working on the development of a biofuel that could soon replace traditional gasoline. Such a fuel could justify the continued production of combustion engines, especially considering that new engines are much more efficient. Thus, even if biofuel is more expensive, the energy cost could remain similar in the medium term.
Ironically, I had a discussion on the subject with an engineer this week. He had an interesting point regarding electric powertrains. According to him, as long as it is not possible to recharge an electric vehicle as quickly as refueling with gasoline, the majority of buyers will remain hesitant about switching to electric vehicles. Furthermore, the weight of batteries significantly affects certain components of an electric vehicle, such as tires and suspension. Therefore, batteries will need to become lighter in the long term.
In any case, we are getting closer to the goal, as some vehicles can benefit from a 10 to 80% recharge in less than 20 minutes, which is very fast. When 80% of energy represents a similar range to that of a gasoline model, it is clear that buyers will show more interest in electric models, especially if this energy level can be regained in just a few minutes.