It’s a little like putting the electric cart in front of the horse, but despite having no all-electric vehicles for sale in North America, Stellantis has announced a very ambitious charging initiative.
tap here to see other videos from our team.
Called Free2move Charge, it is what the automaker describes as a “complete charging ecosystem,” designed to provide EV charging and energy management for Stellantis vehicle owners. As of today in North America, the company sells two plug-in hybrids, including the top-selling Jeep Wrangler 4xe and popular Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, the only PHEV minivan available in Canada.
“As the pace of mainstream EV adoption accelerates, our customers need us to be more than just a mobility provider,” said Stellantis VP Ricardo Stamatti. “We are taking the lead in establishing a dedicated business unit that will support our bold electrification strategy and act as a natural extension of our iconic brands.”
While details are still vague on exactly what that strategy will look like, it is expected to be up and running in North America and Europe by the end of the year.
Recommended from Editorial
Motor Mouth: Are automakers surrendering to Tesla?
Which automakers offer free public EV charging?
Here’s what we do know: Free2move Charge takes a three-pronged approach to providing electric charging solutions for owners in their homes (Free2move Charge Home); at their businesses (Free2move Charge Business); and when they are out on the road (Free2move Charge GO).
The home component will see Stellantis work with vehicle owners on the installation, financing, and warranty of home charging and other energy hardware and services. In the near term, that includes such options as AC charging cables and wall boxes; and in the future, complete energy management systems, with features like touch-free wireless solutions and inductive robot charging.
The business piece is described as a “one-stop-shop platform” with a full suite of charging and energy services. This includes early-on support, estimation of initial and future running costs, right-sizing of charging infrastructure, installation, and maintenance.
And finally, the on-the-road plan will incorporate what Stellantis claims will be the largest possible curated network of public charging points through partners in North America and Europe. Just who those partners will be has yet to be announced.
One of the first questions during a conference call with journalists about the Free2move Charge program concerned the growing number of automakers who are adopting Tesla’s NACS charging standard — Volvo being the latest — and if Stellantis would follow suit. Like many of the answers that proceeded, we were told that an announcement might be coming in the future.
In addition to the Free2Move app providing an aggregate of existing and coming-on-line-soon charging points for use by Stellantis vehicle owners, it will simplify payment at the myriad charging stations by integrating all transactions through the app. Future plans for the on-the-road component services include Plug and Charge, reservations, loyalty programs, subscriptions, prepaid packages, single invoice/billing, and even delivery of a charge to a requested location when needed.
Stellantis, which in North America represents the Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, and Ram brands, has announced it seeks to achieve a 100-per-cent passenger-car battery-electric-vehicle (BEV) sales mix in Europe; and a 50 per cent passenger-car and light-duty truck BEV sales mix in North America by 2030.