Stellantis will invest 160 million euros (AU$261.8 million) into retooling its Rennes, France factory for electric vehicle production.
In the announcement on Thursday, Stellantis also confirmed the Rennes factory will manufacture a new all-electric mid-sized SUV from 2025, based on the new STLA Medium platform.
Vehicles based on the STLA Medium architecture will feature battery capacities ranging from 87-104 kWh, allowing for a maximum range of up to 700km.
The electric SUV is expected to be successor to the Citroen C5 Aircross.
According to Reuters, when asked if the upcoming SUV would be offered with combustion and hybrid powertrains alongside an electric offering, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told journalists “in principle no”.
A large part of the investment will go towards a battery assembly workshop which will sit alongside the assembly line to ensure easy installation in electric vehicles.
Additionally, the plant will gain a plastic injection moulding workshop to be used for front and rear modules, the first in any of Stellantis’ French sites.
Stellantis says factory employees are already being trained on electric vehicle (EV) production.
Aside from EV production, the Rennes factory will also support Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 plan by replacing one of its gas boilers with a biomass boiler using locally sourced wood.
A 90,000km2 solar farm will also be operational by 2025, accounting for 30 per cent of the plant’s electricity needs.
“The allocation to the site is the direct consequence of their seriousness and involvement in manufacturing quality…Rennes will be a compact and efficient site, its agility allows it to engage in bold projects (while working) in favour of the environment,” said Mr Tavares.
Stellantis’s Rennes factory is currently responsible for the production of the Citroen C5 Aircross plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which makes up 30 per cent of its daily production capacity.
It also produces non-PHEV versions of the C5 Aircross, as well as the Peugeot 5008.
The Citroen C5 Aircross is offered in Australia with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, but the 165kW 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid powertrain option isn’t currently offered locally.
Two Rennes factory teams are responsible for producing 360 units of the C5 Aircross each day.
Originally set up in the 1960s as a Citroen facility, the Rennes factory began producing Peugeot models like the 407 in the 2000s.
Stellantis, the parent company to brands such as Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, and Jeep, plans to sell only electric cars in Europe by 2030.