Stellantis to unveil first European EV in mid-October.

The automobile manufacturer Stellantis NV (BIT: STLAM) is preparing to reveal its first affordable electric vehicle made in Europe, the new Citroën e-C3, by mid-October.

The CEO of Citroën and Stellantis Chief Sales & Marketing Officer Thierry Koskas stated that the electric vehicle (EV) will cost less than 25,000 euros, which is approximately $27,400. With this pricing, Stellantis aims to compete against lower-priced Chinese brands entering the European market.

Chinese car manufacturers typically concentrate on larger electric vehicles, but recently they have begun introducing smaller and less expensive models to Europe to gain traction.

The most affordable EVs in the French market today are the Chinese-made Renault Dacia Spring and the Renault electric Twingo, priced at 21,000 euros ($22,806) and 25,000 euros, respectively. Meanwhile, Twingo will cease production by mid-2024. Compared to these two models, the Citroën e-C3 is a larger city car that sells for less or around the same price.

Stellantis has taken steps to enter the EV market, which is largely dominated by Chinese manufacturers, and has recorded excellent results so far.

Last month, the carmaker announced the addition of nine new battery EVs to its range for 2023. By the end of 2024, Stellantis plans to have a total of 47 battery EVs, while Citroën plans to electrify its entire range by that time. In 2022, Stellantis partnered with car-hailing service provider Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) to compete in the French electric vehicle market.

Stellantis and the EV Subsidy Uncertainty

Typically, EVs are more expensive than their fossil-fuel counterparts. European car manufacturers always try to develop cheaper models, which are encouraged by government subsidies.

France, for example, plans to offer subsidies for EVs produced in Europe, recognizing that they have a smaller carbon footprint than imported models. There is also an upcoming social leasing program that would provide these EVs to poorer households for around $100.

Information from some sources suggests that this subsidy may be released by October for cars to be delivered next year.

The Citroën e-C3 model will have a 320-kilometer range and a 57-minute “fast charge” capability. It is built on Stellantis’ “smart car” architecture, which was originally launched in India and Latin America. As the EVs prepare for their official launch in the second quarter of next year, they will be assembled in Slovakia.

The e-C3 battery will most likely be produced in China, raising the question of whether the Citroën vehicle can be eligible for subsidies, given that one of its key components comes from China. China has consistently led the EV market, but Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan believes that this narrative has come to an end.

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