Stellantis, a global mobility player with 14 brands including Vauxhall, Peugeot, Fiat, Citroën and Jeep, and Qinomic, a high-tech company specialised in innovative and sustainable solutions for mobility, have announced a partnership.
This collaboration is to create a proof of concept to convert internal combustion engine light commercial vehicles to an electric drivetrain. It will also ensure original equipment manufacturer (OEM) quality and specifications, such as safety, durability, and type approval, are maintained.
Alison Jones, Stellantis Circular Economy Business Unit senior vice president, said: “I am delighted that Stellantis is working with Qinomic on this development in retrofit technology.
“This innovation gives our professional customers the choice to convert their current vans to electric, extend their vehicle’s life and meet legislative and mobility requirements.”
Extending vehicle life and usage is at the heart of the Stellantis Circular Economy Business Unit, which is leading the initiative in collaboration with the Commercial Vehicle Business Unit and the Stellantis Ventures Studio.
The electric retrofit solution aims to protect freedom of mobility with an affordable option that meets customer needs to extend the life of their vehicles and continue business activities while accessing low emissions zones (LEZ) in cities.
According to the EIT Urban Mobility Report, the number of LEZ zones in Europe increased by 40 per cent in the last three years and will continue to increase as part of the enforcement of urban vehicle access regulations. The driver for this increase is the European Green Deal plan, aimed at encouraging the transition to cleaner vehicles and cleaner mobility.
This is good news for businesses with fleets of combustion vehicles that can be electric retrofitted. It offers both a sustainable and affordable solution to driving in cities. Not only will reduce emissions but the total cost of ownership, while allowing businesses to keep their original vehicles. We hope that repurposing rather than just scrapping and replacing is going to play a big role in these situations in the coming years.
Xavier Peugeot, Stellantis Commercial Vehicle Business Unit senior vice president, said: “Retrofitting technology will reinforce Stellantis’ leadership in zero emission mobility solutions for professional customers, complementing our full electrified van range.”
The project confirms Stellantis’ commitment to innovation and willingness to rely on partners that support its electrification plan. Stellantis has an industry-leading decarbonisation strategy with an ambitious goal of carbon net zero by 2038, as outlined in the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan.
Frédéric Strady, Qinomic co-founder and CEO, said: “We are excited about this new strategic partnership with Stellantis. It is an important step in Qinomic’s development, which will enable us to finalise and implement some of the innovative technical solutions we are developing for the retrofit industry.”
Successful completion of this joint development in 2023 and positive customer feedback on the demo cars’ performance will lead to implementation and commercialisation starting in France in 2024.
Eric Laforge, Stellantis Enlarged Europe Light Commercial Vehicles vice president, said: “In a market boosted by last-mile demand, city access restrictions will soon require recent LCV owners to look for a solution to convert to zero emissions. Retrofitting technology like this will enable Stellantis to support this trend.”