Driving Toward an Electric Future
Stellantis, the parent company of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat brands amongst others, at one time lagged the industry when it came to electrification. But the company has made a major pivot, and is now fully-committed to an electrified future. In the U.S., it expects 50 percent of its total sales to be battery-electric, with over 25 electric car models available.
To sell and service all of these cars – the company says they will total five million vehicles globally – dealers will have to be prepared. Not only will they need the proper electrical infrastructure to support charging, but dealership staff will need to be properly trained, and special tools and equipment will need to be in place to service the new models coming.
In order to prepare its dealership network across the U.S. – a total of over 2,600 stores – Stellantis is rolling out consulting and on-site evaluation of electric car needs within every area of the dealership business. Working together with its national dealer council, Stellantis is evaluating dealers’ business operations, inventory management, service centers, employee culture and more. The goal is to prepare every dealership to be successful in the electric age, prepared to address any challenges they may face, and ready to embrace a new era of sustainable driving.
Partnership with Future Energy
In order to get its dealership consulting program up to speed quickly, Stellantis has partnered with Future Energy, a company specialized in helping dealerships install charging solutions, intelligent building systems, and data integration. In an electrified future, automotive, utility, energy and other technologies are more deeply integrated. A 360-degree approach to the dealership business is necessary to prepare for the disruption of electrified driving.
The first step in the program helps dealers identify their future energy requirements – and the electrical infrastructure changes and utility upgrades needed to support electric car sales and service. Dealerships in older facilities may need significant upgrades in electrical service to deal with EVs in the future.
After that, Stellantis and Future Energy work with each dealer to calculate the charging needs in every area of the dealership – and locate ideal installation area for electric car charging stations both inside and outside of the building. The right number of chargers in the right places help the service department operate more smoothly, and offer better customer convenience.
EV Integration Services
With numerous federal, local, and regional incentives available to businesses upgrading their facilities to be more sustainable, and to support electric car charging, Stellantis and Future Energy also help dealers obtain financial assistance for expensive upgrades. They help dealers discover all applicable financial incentive programs, and guide them through the application process to obtain funding. Upgrades can range from tens of thousands to millions of dollars depending on existing infrastructure.
Once a dealership is ready to move forward, Future Energy helps Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat dealers with coordinating construction projects, logistics, and the installation of electric car charging stations in all areas of the dealership. As the devices are all networked and provide useful data to dealership staff, assistance is also provided to connect the chargers to the dealership’s technology infrastructure to measure and manage energy use in real time. Automation can also be implemented to help the dealership make better decisions and reduce their energy costs.
A key part of the service that Stellantis and Future Energy offer their dealers is training. Both management and customer-facing staff benefit from training regarding operational changes, sales strategies, and new processes.
While electric vehicles will still need service, for instance, the kinds of service they need, and the processes to be followed, will change significantly. The purpose of the dealership changes as well – requiring people and processes to adapt to a more sustainable outlook.
Finally, as chargers and electrical infrastructure will form a key component of the dealership of the future, the dealerships are also provided with ongoing support. Maintenance and warranty programs for the new electrical infrastructure, chargers, and other associated hardware give dealers peace-of-mind.
At the time of writing, almost 70 percent of the 2,600-plus Stellantis dealers across the U.S. have already begun the process of assessing their individual readiness for electrification. It’s a big step in Stellantis’ strategic plan to be the industry champion in the fight against climate change. The company wants to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2038.