Stellantis, the company most Canadians have never heard of, is planning to build 25 new electric vehicles for North American markets by 2025. For those who don’t follow all things automotive, Amsterdam,…

Stellantis launching at least 25 new EV models for North America by 2030

2022 Ram 1500 BEV Pickup
Stellantis will introduce 25 new electric vehicles into the North American markets by 2030, including a Ram 1500 BEV Pickup.

Stellantis, the company most Canadians have never heard of, is planning to build 25 new electric vehicles for North American markets by 2025.

For those who don’t follow all things automotive, Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Stellantis is the new (as of last year) multinational automotive manufacturing corporation formed to combine all brands from the now dissolved Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with additional French PSA Group brands under one umbrella. This means that longstanding American brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Mopar auto parts are now part of the same ownership family as 11 European brands including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroën, DS (Citroën’s luxury division), Fiat, Fiat Professional (a commercial division that makes Fiat and Ram vans), Lancia, Maserati, Opel (previously part of General Motors), Peugeot, and Vauxhall (ditto re GM).

2022 Jjeep EV Concept
The Jjeep EV Concept (also pictured above) appears like it’s ready for action.

Upon the amalgamation of both automakers within the new Stellantis group, all brands were promised the opportunity to shine (a.k.a. become profitable) before potentially being axed, which was a much-welcome lifeline thrown to a few once revered marques, such as Chrysler, Dodge and Lancia, which had been whittled down to just a few models prior to this new lease on life.

While we may never see Lancia return to Canada, or for that matter Citroën, Opel or Vauxhall (that are little more than Opels rebadged for the UK), let alone any 2022 models from Fiat, a Chrysler crossover SUV would certainly bolster that beleaguered brand’s lineup, let alone something new for Dodge. Chrysler deserves kudos for its plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivan, and for its nifty renaming strategy that turned a first-generation Pacifica into a brand-new Grand Caravan, thus providing a third wing-badged model, whereas Dodge has three totally unique models, albeit nothing close to the range of alternatives that Japanese or Korean competitors offer.

Stellantis promises new electric crossovers, pickups and even an EV muscle car

2022 Chrysler Airflow Concept
Expect an EV based on the Chrysler Airflow Concept sometime in 2024 as a 2025 model.

Earlier this month, Stellantis’ announced a comprehensive plan that will impact everything from financials to future products right through to 2030, with some of the latter including fully electric models for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. Where the Ram 1500 EV was merely a graphic teaser designed to show Ford, Chevy, GMC/Hummer, Rivian, Tesla and other EV truck producers that Ram is taking the sector seriously, the bright yellow Jeep EV concept already looks promising.

It would be the go-anywhere division’s first electric vehicle, although take note that Jeep currently offers their plug-in hybrid 4xe powertrain for the new Grand Cherokee and Wrangler, with Hemi V8 performance from an electrified V6 that puts out 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Such numbers should make any auto enthusiast excited about the Dearborn-based automaker getting hold of a pure electric drivetrain, thanks to a history of cars, SUVs and trucks with tire-scorching straight-line acceleration.

2022 Chrysler Airflow Concept
The Airflow is sized similarly to Ford’s popular Mustang Mach E.

The Jeep EV shown here, which is expected to launch in early 2023, most likely rides on the STLA Small platform, which is capable of accommodating between 37 and 82 kWh of capacity, resulting in as much as 483 km (300 miles) of range. Jeep promises a larger electric “lifestyle family SUV” too, as well as a more off-road capable EV, both for 2024.

Chrysler will get an EV as well. It’s based on the Airflow concept introduced last January at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and sized similarly to Ford’s very popular Mustang Mach-E. Due in 2024 as a 2025 model, the new crossover should be good for up to 644 km (400 miles) of range, while also capable of Level 3 autonomous driving capability.

Stellantis to make up to 75 unique electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles worldwide

2022 Chrysler Airflow Concept
Of all the electric concepts shown, the Airflow is the most fully fleshed out.

Stellantis’ EV push also includes a hydrogen fuel cell contingent, which, together with all of the above and more, combines for a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2038. This means all European vehicle sales and half of U.S. sales (which will likely include Canada) will be electric by 2030, resulting in 75 new electric vehicles in production by the latter year, with at least 25 on their way to North America.

Just ahead of the Ram 1500 EV mentioned a moment ago, which is scheduled to arrive in 2024, Stellantis’ dedicated truck brand will launch a fully electric ProMaster van in 2023, which will simultaneously debut a Fiat Professional version. We’ll also see an electrified Dodge muscle car prototype later this year, all ahead of the aforementioned Airflow hitting the market.

Chrysler will be fully electric by 2028, so therefore all internal combustion engine (ICE) enthusiasts can give a collective sigh of sadness for the fabulous Hemi V8’s demise, while Italian luxury car brands Alfa Romeo and Maserati (also known for their formidable and sonorous ICE’s) will completely change over to electric by 2030.

Stellantis sees a future for hydrogen fuel cell tech in the commercial sector

2022 Chrysler Airflow Concept
Will Chrysler finally become the luxury brand it’s always come close to emulating?

As for hydrogen fuel cell models, Ram is planning a large, ProMaster hydrogen van for 2025, while the same brand should have its heavy-duty 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks hydrogenized shortly thereafter. Hydrogen offers lighter weight than battery-powered EVs, benefiting ultimate cargo capacities, plus quicker refueling than recharging a battery, so H2 may become a better alternative for commercial vehicles as long as an extensive hydrogen refuelling network is made available to support its plan.

Serving both commercial and consumer markets, Stellantis’ is continuing to work on autonomous driving aids, such as hands-free cruise control, as well. The automaker is lagging behind others in this sector, but, together with strategic partner BMW, plans to introduce an advanced system in 2024 that won’t require a driver to continuously monitor the steering wheel, which is currently the case for most competitive systems.

2022 Chrysler Airflow | Our First Battery-Electric Vehicle (3:16):

2022 CES | Chrysler Airflow Reveal (12:22):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Stellantis

Guessing which vehicles will take home the annual North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards is easier some years than others, but most industry experts had 2020’s crop of winners chosen…

Chevrolet, Kia and Jeep win 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The entirely new mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has won the North American Car of the Year. (Photo: Chevrolet)

Guessing which vehicles will take home the annual North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards is easier some years than others, but most industry experts had 2020’s crop of winners chosen long before this week’s announcement.

The actual name of the award is the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) despite now having three categories covering passenger cars, a sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Just 50 automotive journalists make up the NACTOY jury, from print, online, radio and broadcast media in both the United States and Canada, with the finalists presented in the fall and eventual winners awarded each year at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, although this year’s presentation was changed to a separate event at Detroit’s TCF Center (formerly known as Cobo Hall/Cobo Center) due to the 2020 NAIAS moving its dates forward to June 7-20 this year. The NACTOY awards were first presented in 1994, with the Utility Vehicle category added in 2017.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The new Corvette promises supercar performance and exotic cachet for a pauper’s price. (Photo: Chevrolet)

Of note, nomination requirements include completely new vehicles, total redesigns, or significant refreshes. In other words, the nominated vehicle needs to be something most consumers would consider new to the market or substantially different from a model’s predecessor. Also important, the finalists earned their top-three placement by judging their segment leadership, innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for money.

The selection process started in June last year, with the vehicle eligibility determined after three rounds of voting. NACTOY used the independent accounting firm Deloitte LLP to tally the votes and kept them secret until the envelopes were unsealed on stage by the organization’s President, Lauren Fix, Vice President, Chris Paukert, and Secretary-Treasurer, Kirk Bell.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The new Corvette’s interior appears much more upscale than previous generations. (Photo: Chevrolet)

The finalists in the “Car” category included the Chevrolet Corvette, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Supra, with the final winner being the new seventh-generation mid-engine Corvette, a total game changer for the model and sports car category. Interestingly, it’s been six years since a sports car won the passenger car category, so kudos to Chevy for creating something so spectacular it couldn’t be ignored, while Toyota and Hyundai should also be commended for their excellent entries.

“A mid-engine Corvette was a huge risk for Chevy’s muscle-car icon. They nailed it. Stunning styling, interior, and performance for one-third of the cost of comparable European exotics,” said Henry Payne, auto critic for The Detroit News.

2020 Kia Telluride
The new 2020 Kia Telluride is as close to premium as any mainstream volume branded SUV has ever been, Hyundai Palisade aside. (Photo: Kia)

The “Utility Vehicle” finalists included the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride and Lincoln Aviator, with most industry insiders believing one of the two South Korean entries (which are basically the same vehicle under the skin, a la Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia) would take home the prize, and lo and behold the Kia Telluride earned top marks.

“The Telluride’s interior layout and design would meet luxury SUV standards, while its refined drivetrain, confident driving dynamics and advanced technology maintain the premium experience,” said Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher at Cox Automotive. “Traditional SUV brands take note: there’s a new star player on the field.”

2020 Jeep Gladiator
The new 2020 Jeep Gladiator is everything we all love about the Wrangler with the added convenience of a pickup truck bed. (Photo: Jeep)

Lastly, “Truck” of the year finalists included the new to us Ford Ranger, the entirely new Jeep Gladiator, and the Ram HD (Heavy Duty) 2500 and 3500, with the sensational new Gladiator getting the highest marks. Incidentally, you’d need to look all the way back to 1999 to find a Jeep that won its category, that model being the Grand Cherokee.

“What’s not to like about a pickup truck with not only a soft-top removable roof but even removable doors? If you want massive cargo-hauling capability or the ability to tow 10,000 pounds, buy something else,” said longtime automotive journalist John Voelcker. “The eagerly awaited Gladiator is a one-of-a-kind truck, every bit the Jeep its Wrangler sibling is … but with a pickup bed. How could you possibly get more American than that?”

Of note, NACTOY is an independent, non-profit organization, with elected officers and funding by dues-paying journalist members.

Find out more about the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Jeep Gladiator at CarCostCanada, where you can get trim, package and individual option pricing, plus rebate info and even dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. While the Corvette is not yet available, you can get up to $1,000 in additional incentives on the new Telluride, and factory leasing and financing rates from 4.09 percent for the new Gladiator. Make sure to check CarCostCanada for more.

The only thing longer than a full-size crew cab pickup truck is its name, today’s review of the 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4x4 making that point very clear. The Laramie Longhorn…

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Laramie Longhorn Crew Cab 4×4 Road Test Review

What's stylish to one person can be gauche to another, which is why automakers create so many different trim levels. This is especially true for pickup truck lines. Earlier this year I tested a 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab Laramie Limited 4x4 and since then I had the pleasure of driving the same truck in EcoDiesel Crew Cab Laramie Longhorn 4x4 trim.

You'd think by merely swapping Limited for Longhorn there wouldn't be much difference in the way these two trucks look, but the former is focused much more on urbanites whereas as the latter is pure country. Think rich rancher instead of a simple ranch hand, mind you, the 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab Laramie Longhorn 4x4 starting at a cool $58,495 plus freight and fees compared to $31,095 for the base 1500 ST. The Laramie Limited? It's priced even higher at $62,495.

In between workhorse ST and the dolled up Laramie Longhorn are SXT, SLT, HFE, Outdoorsman, Sport, Big Horn, Laramie, and Rebel models. Like I said, there's Read Full Story
Want the ultimate luxury pickup truck? Ram has a 1500 Laramie Limited with your name on it. Along with turbo-diesel power, an 8-speed auto, 20-inch alloys and an air suspension it comes with a full-leather…

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Crew Cab Laramie Limited 4×4 Road Test Review

With the recent announcement that the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200 will soon be eliminated from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' lineup, it appears the Italian-American automaker has little faith in its ability to make serious gains within the compact and mid-size car segments anytime soon, but due to a recent upsurge in crossover SUV and truck sales it hardly seems to matter overall.

Lower pump prices in Canada and the U.S. are spurring on sales of larger models, such as this Ram 1500, providing FCA Canada with record-setting 2015 calendar year sales that even resulted in bestselling automaker status. FCA's four-brand arsenal captured 15.4 percent of last year's new vehicle sales, outselling both Ford and General Motors' Canadian divisions for the first time ever, the latter automakers with 14.7 percent and 13.9 percent of market share respectively. While the mantra "timing is everything" seems to be part of the reason for FCA's success, with Ford F-150 production issues hurting sales Read Full Story
Need to tow heavy loads but don’t want to be depleted of all your resources at the pump? Ram’s 1500 EcoDiesel puts out 420 lb-ft of torque yet claims 12.1 L/100km city and 8.8 hwy with 4WD or 11.6…

2015 Ram 1500 Big Horn Crew Cab EcoDiesel 4×4 Road Test Review

Since Ram adopted the big rig look back in '93, they've been a solid number three instead of a distant third here in Canada, even as recently as calendar year 2014 coming very close to toppling combined Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra sales. Ram missed achieving this feat by a mere 1,484 models, which would be a significant margin if we were comparing Chevy Malibu to Chrysler 200 sales, but in the Canadian half-ton market where the two GM pickups found 90,005 new owners to the Ram 1500's 88,521 buyers, it was losing by a hair.

The Chrysler 200 ended up 3,409 units in the clear for calendar 2014, incidentally, but with 11,655 200 sales to the Malibu's 8,246 deliveries you get my point. This is where I'd like to say something witty like, GM had better watch out or Ram's trucks will soon oust them for second spot overall, but as it is the General's 6,237 unit lead as of October 2015 is probably too much for Ram to overcome in the next two months. This no doubt comes as a bit of Read Full Story