Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

In the race to go electric, automakers ratchet up a gear

A rush of announcements on Monday illustrated how the global auto industry has shifted into high gear as it races to speed beyond the fossil-fuel car age, with electric car sales surging and legislation increasingly favouring zero-emission vehicles

A flurry of bulletins on Monday underlined how the global car industry has shifted into overdrive as it rushes beyond the fossil-fuel vehicle era, with electric automobile gross sales hovering and legislation increasingly favouring zero-emission automobiles. Stellantis, which was formed by the merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler earlier this year, said it had reached a preliminary agreement with battery maker LG Energy Solution to supply battery cells and modules for North America, where the world’s No. 4 automaker expects more than 40% of its U.S. gross sales to be electric vehicles.

This comes on the heels of Daimler AG’s recent announcement that it will buy a 33 percent ownership in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC), which will be founded by Stellantis and TotalEnergies in 2020. Carmakers are rushing to develop secure battery supplies as they transition to electric vehicles, with dozens of new battery fields planned across Europe and America. Ford Motor Co. announced on Monday that it will invest up to 230 million pounds ($316 million) in retooling an engine manufacturing facility in northern England to supply electrical automotive energy items rather than combustion-engine transmissions, boosting the company’s plans to go electric in Europe.

By 2030, the world’s second-largest automaker expects its European lineup to be all electric. Companies like Mercedes-Benz Daimler have warned that switching to electric will cost employment at combustion-engine plants, so Ford’s decision is a win for staff at its Halewood plant near Liverpool who produce fossil-fuel engines. The transition to electric has also resulted in changes in the automobile landscape, with many entrepreneurs seeking to become the next Tesla Inc.

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