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Carmakers Shift To The Fast Lane In Efforts To Go Electric

Carmakers Shift To The Fast Lane In Efforts To Go Electric
A series of announcements earlier this week by firms in the global auto industry showed how the global auto industry has shifted into high gear as it attempts to overtake past the era of fossil-fuel powered cars era, even as the sale of electric cars increase globally and while new regulations being implemented to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles.
Stellantis, which was formed by the merger of PSA and Fiat Chrysler earlier this year, said it had reached an initial deal with the battery maker LG Energy Solution for making battery cells and modules for North America, where the fourth largest automaker of the world anticipated that more than 40 per cent of its overall sales will be accounted for by electric vehicles by 2030. The company had previously announced an electrification plan worth 30 billion euro ($34.7 billion).
The Stellantis was preceded by an announcement by Daimler AG of the company acquiring a 33 per cent stake in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company, which was founded in 2020 by Stellantis and TotalEnergies.
Auto companies have planned dozens of new battery plants planned across Europe and America, and the companies are scrambling to ensure an adequate supply of batteries for electric vehicles as they transition to all-electric models only.
On Monday, plans for investment of 230 million pounds ($316 million) in retooling an engine factory in northern England and transforming it to make components for its electric cars were announced by Ford Motor Co. The unit would stop making combustion-engine engines and vehicles and it is believed that this new transformation will help Ford to go electric in Europe. The second largest car maker of the United States has announced an all-electric lineup of its portfolio by 2030.
Warnings that the transformation into all-electric vehicles from the conventional combustion engine models will result in job losses at combustion-engine plants have been issued by auto companies such as Mercedes-Benz Daimler. In that sense, therefore, the announcement by Ford for its Halewood plant near Liverpool is good news for employees there who still make fossil-fuel engines.
Changes in the automotive landscape have also been triggered by the transition to electric vehicles as a number of startups have emerged that are vying to become the next Tesla Inc.
For example, Foxconn, a Taiwanese tech company that has made public its ambitions to diversify its business apart from making consumer electronics for Apple Inc. and other tech companies, has been drawn to this electric vehicle segment. As a part of this strategy, the company recently unveiled its first three EV prototypes which include an SUV, a sedan, and a bus, in a joint venture with Taiwanese car maker Yulon Motor Co Ltd.
Having made public its intentions of moving into the EV space less than two years ago, Foxconn has made quick moves since then as it announced its deals for making cars with Fisker Inc of the United States and PTT Pcl of Thailand this year.
The decision of Volkswagen AG to have Tesla CEO Elon Musk speak to the company's top executives over the weekend was driven by the German auto major’s need for speed. The aim of Volkswagen to closely follow and ultimately overtake Tesla, the world's leading electric carmaker, has been openly stated by Herbert Diess, the CEO of Volkswagen.
However, in a Linkedin post, Diess had claimed that he had invited Musk as a "surprise guest" to focus on the fact that faster decisions need to be made by VW and reduce the burden of bureaucracy for what he called the company's "largest transformation."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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