Stellantis plans energy production at European plants

Stellantis NV is considering “significant” investments to produce energy for its European facilities as part of its response to the threat of the cut-off of natural gas supplies from Russia, the automaker’s chief executive said on Wednesday.

“We are now preparing a very strong energy (use) reduction plan,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told reporters during a videoconference on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show.

“We are going to make significant investments to produce our own energy onsite,” Tavares said. “This will be decided in the next few days.”

Tavares said Stellantis plant sites have space for additional solar power arrays, but did not offer more details.

The company is working on measures to cut energy consumption, Tavares said, modelled in part on steps the executive saw Japanese companies take after a tsunami knocked out power supplies in 2011.

So far, Tavares said, the company’s European operations have not been affected by disruptions to Russian gas supplies, “beyond cost”.

“It’s one additional element of chaos,” Tavares said, on top of the supply chain and pandemic disruptions the automaker has dealt with for two years or more.

Tavares affirmed that he does not plan to separate Stellantis into electric and combustion technology units, as French rival Renault SA (RENA.PA) has proposed. Ford Motor Co (F.N) has created parallel electric vehicle and combustion units within the company.

“We don’t see the business as an obsolete business from one side and a new business on the other side,” Tavares said.