Stellantis believes that the harmonious combination of technology and sustainability will define the direction of the automotive industry. For this reason, the company – formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot Citroën – has invested heavily in the development and integration of these two pillars.
“We are facing a great challenge, as it is necessary to reconcile technological evolution with the demands for sustainability, aspects that will be increasingly interconnected”, said João Irineu Medeiros, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Product Compliance at Stellantis for South America , during the panel “Solutions for sustainable mobility”, part of the Urban Mobility Summit 2022 program.
In search of solutions to lead the development of more sustainable mobility, Stellantis is investing 30 billion euros globally, until 2025, in the electrification of its products and in the development of software.
There are also a series of actions throughout the product life cycle, which include new circular economy initiatives, in a process called “cradle to cradle”. Even after its life cycle of about two decades has ended, the automobile becomes a source of raw materials for other products and processes, contributing again to the generation of value and jobs.
The other guest of the panel, Besaliel Soares Botelho, president of the Brazilian Association of Automotive Engineering (AEA), emphasized that the moment is of great transformation for the national and global automobile industry. “We have prepared ourselves here in Brazil for these new times. One of the characteristics of our engineering is the creativity to find ways, something that will be increasingly important”, said Botelho.
He mentioned, as positive examples, the consistent work of research centers of automakers and systemists (manufacturers of auto parts), in addition to the existence of a series of projects in the automotive industry in partnership with universities.
There are also programs such as Rota 2030, conceived by the private sector and supported by the federal government to encourage Research & Development projects throughout the sector’s chain, and RenovaBio, a policy to encourage biofuels such as ethanol, biodiesel, biomethane and biokerosene.
Botelho recalled that the AEA was created 37 years ago with the aim of strengthening the local market, but today the entire capacity of Brazilian engineering is focused on the great global challenge of reducing carbon emissions to zero. “There is no single solution for achieving this goal.
It is necessary to have diversified initiatives, with several innovative technologies in all modes. This involves competent local engineering and training of new players, especially in the supply chain”, described the AEA president.
Panel participants recalled that Brazil made a commitment at COP-26 – the United Nations (UN) conference on climate change, held at the end of last year in Glasgow, Scotland – to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 % by 2030 and zero by 2050. “All sectors are part of this commitment, including the automotive industry”, highlighted Botelho.
Stellantis has set even more ambitious goals. According to the company’s recently announced global plan, Dare Forward 2030, the complete decarbonization of the production cycle will take place by 2038, with 50% by 2030.
The company’s operations in Brazil already show concrete progress towards decarbonization. One example is the Stellantis Goiana Automotive Complex, which received the Carbon Neutral certificate in early 2021, becoming the first carbon neutral multi-plant industrial complex in Latin America.
The main plant has been neutral since 2017 and the supplier park joined it in 2021. The engine plant in Betim (MG), the engine unit in Campo Largo (PR) and three other component plants are already neutral in emissions .
There are also a number of initiatives that go beyond the walls of industries. In both Pernambuco and Minas Gerais, the company develops circular economy actions in partnership with local institutions, transforming waste from vehicle production into products that generate employment and income.
Stellantis advances in the development of vehicles with electric propulsion, a dominant trend in the global automotive sector. Among the electric and hybrid launches already made in Brazil by the company are the Fiat 500e, the Peugeot e-208 GT, the Peugeot e-Expert and Citroën Ë-Jumpy SUVs, in addition to the new Jeep Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid, which arrived in April as the first Jeep hybrid launched in the country.
The projection is that, in 2030, 100% of the company’s sales in Europe will be of electric vehicles, an index that will reach 50% in the United States and 20% in Brazil. Contrary to what it may seem at first glance, it is not negative news for Brazil. It is a reflection of a privilege conquered.
Here, electrification will evolve mainly in hybrid mode in combination with ethanol, a clean fuel that has become a great Brazilian success, consolidated as a comparative advantage. “Brazil will participate in the global mobility game with a well-balanced technological route from the point of view of social, economic and environmental. These three elements need to be reconciled so that we can reach the best decisions”, said João Irineu Medeiros, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Product Compliance at Stellantis for South America.
Increasingly, the car will be thought of as a mobile and connected platform, part of new solutions for people and cities. As with smartphones, vehicles are coming to the cloud, an environment of wide connectivity, which provides infinite possibilities.
With this, products that for a long time had only the function of transport will gain new attributions, related to several other aspects of life, such as shopping, leisure and entertainment. These changes will be broad and will involve not only the mechanical and technological aspects of vehicles , but also the reformulation of the design, both external and internal, with a growing emphasis on comfort, preparation for future 100% autonomous vehicles.
“The challenge is to make Brazilian automotive engineering grow on this journey, which is a long-term journey”, emphasized Botelho. Thus, although the electrification of vehicles has been developed abroad, Brazil has much to contribute to the improvement of this new propulsion technology, including with regard to the production of batteries, a decisive aspect to make it predominant, observed the AEA president. .
For all that has been described, Stellantis is increasingly consolidated as a tech car company. This concept refers to a company that applies cutting-edge technology in the search for solutions, with increasingly sustainable results. “It is a process that will certainly be extremely positive for the national industry and research”, commented Botelho.