electrive.com — 2023-04-03
Stellantis has announced plans to manufacture electric vehicles in Portugal. From early 2025, the production centre in Mangualde will be the first assembly plant in Portugal to build battery-electric vans for Citroën, Fiat, Opel and Peugeot in large-scale production.
Specifically, the Citroën ë-Berlingo, Fiat e-Doblò, Opel Combo-e, and Peugeot e-Partner models will roll off the production line there. In every case, the company will build a passenger and a light commercial version at the plant.
“We are proud to announce that Mangualde will enter a new era with the production of large series of battery electric vans in Portugal to provide indispensable solutions for our business customers,” says Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares.
Currently, the combustion versions of these models are produced in Mangualde. According to a Stellantis announcement, the plant will also have its own battery assembly line for the future production of electric vehicles. The manufacturer does not state the future annual capacity. However, a press release from the Portuguese government mentions almost 50,000 BEVs per year and the creation of 450 jobs.
The transformation of the plant comes as part of the ‘GreenAuto’ project co-initiated by Stellantis Mangualde. It is backed by a consortium of 37 partners from business and academia and is estimated to have an investment volume of €119m. The project, launched in October 2021, is scheduled for completion by the turn of 2025/26. The Portuguese government supports the initiative with €59.8m from its “PRR (Recovery and Resilience Plan) on the Move” programme, so almost exactly half of the expected investment sum.
Fun fact: According to Stellantis, the plant in Mangualde was the first auto assembly plant in Portugal and just celebrated its 6oth anniversary. Now, it will be given a second life. “This new era of production will see a transformation of the Mangualde plant ‘fit for the future’ with new facilities, both in general assembly as well as in the body shop, the optimisation of the industrial area, and the creation of a new battery assembly line,” Stellantis writes in a press release. However, it does not mention how much the company will invest in modernisation. In total, Stellantis has earmarked “€30bn through 2025 in electrification and software to deliver BEVs that meet customer demands,” – but that money will be used globally and not just in Portugal.
Just recently, Stellantis announced a multi-million dollar investment in three plants in Kokomo, Indiana, where it will build the components for the group’s upcoming US electric models.
Back to Europe: the Mangualde site also includes a solar energy park. Once completed, it will cover 31% of the site’s energy needs. The company whats to CO2 emissions in half by 2030 “and achieve carbon net zero by 2038 with single digit percentage compensation of the remaining emissions.” Moreover, the carmaker aims to only sell electric vehicles in Europe from 2030. For the US, that target is 50% of passenger car and light-duty truck sales.