Fiat Chrysler and Engie EPS, a division of French utility Engie that concentrates on energy storage systems and microgrids, prepares to set up a joint venture to take complete advantage of an expected increase in electric mobility.
The automaker’s Italian division and Engie EPS, which is also based in Italy, have signed a memorandum of understanding intended at setting up the joint venture in the first quarter of the next year, the two companies said on Thursday.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Chief Operating Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Pietro Gorlier, said that 15 million electrified vehicles – full electric and hybrids – were expected in Europe in 2025, making about 25% of the region’s total vehicles.
“The market for services for electrified mobility will grow explosively in the coming years,” he said.
The new venture, in which FCA will retain some majority, will provide a full range of products and solutions, including residential, business, and public charging infrastructure, and also green energy packages for electric vehicle customers throughout Europe.
Engie EPS Chief Executive Carlalberto Guglielminotti said that customers will spend at least 5.5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) annually to recharge electrified vehicles in 2025.
“Demand is not going to be a problem,” he said.
FCA, which is in the midst of a $38 billion merger with French group PSA to form the world’s fourth-largest automaker, introduced the electric 500 small car and several Fiat, Jeep and Maserati hybrid models this year in an attempt to catch up with the competitors in the race for green mobility.
In its 2018-2022 plan, FCA vowed to spend 9 billion euros in electrification out of a total investment of 45 billion euros, and release of about 30 electrified models, either wholly electric or hybrid.
FCA last year signed an agreement with Engie and Italian utility Enel in order to offer customers charging points for its electric vehicles.
“The envisioned joint venture would permit an even higher commitment from both parties to expand the scope of the existing cooperation and further develop innovative products and services to allow and support a smooth shift to electric mobility in Europe,” FCA CEO Mike Manley said.
Final deals are expected to be signed this year.