Stellantis is open to putting a gas engine in its EVs to meet demand

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With the EV segment caught in a tug-of-war between market demand and government regulations, carmakers are having to adapt to avoid losing both money and sales. Stellantis is keeping every option on the table, including putting a gasoline engine in its electric models.

Natalie Knight, the chief financial officer for Stellantis, made the announcement while presenting the carmaker’s first-quarter shipment and revenues results. She cited the Jeep Wagoneer S as an example: Unveiled in January 2024, it will go on sale with an electric powertrain, but the brand hasn’t ruled out expanding the lineup with a gasoline-powered model later on, according to Wards Auto. It could be a hybrid, or it might not get any type of electrification. The call will depend on whether there is “a clear demand for that in the market,” the executive said.

Compare that with comments from new Jeep CEO Antonio Filosa, who has said hybridizing the Wagoneer S isn’t in the cards — but making a PHEV version of the all-electric upcoming Recon, however, might be.

“I don’t want to ignore the fact that we want to stay close to the consumer, and if we see there’s an opportunity with those models that we introduced as BEVs first, we’ll look into that,” Knight said. Stellantis plans to launch 25 new models globally in 2024, and 18 of those will go on sale with electric power. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll remain electric-only throughout their production run.

The brands that live under the Stellantis umbrella can build a gasoline-powered version of an EV with relative ease because many of the cars in the group’s portfolio ride on a multi-energy platform. For example, the new Dodge Charger (pictured) will go on sale with an electric drivetrain later in 2024, but the range will grow with the addition of a 3.0-liter straight-six in 2025. Across the pond, the Jeep Avenger (a small, hatchback-like crossover not designed with our market in mind) was hyped as an all-electric model when it made its debut in 2023, but it quietly gained a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain in early 2024. The city-friendly Peugeot 208 is offered with piston or battery power, too.

One of the next electric recipients of a gasoline engine might be the new-to-us Fiat 500e. The retro-styled hatchback has exclusively been available as an EV since it went on sale in Europe in 2020, but executives are reportedly looking at turning it into a hybrid due to slow sales.

Like many of its rivals, Stellantis is also putting an increasingly important focus on plug-in hybrid models. The top-three best-selling PHEV models in the United States are the Jeep Wrangler, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Dodge Hornet, according to Wards Auto

“We’re committed very much to the EV market but, on the other hand, we have the flexibility to grow and go where the consumer is,” Knight said.


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