BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Last week, Stellantis unveiled the upcoming Ram 1500 REV electric pickup truck at the New York Auto Show, and confirmed that the vehicle will be built in the U.S.
According to several reports, Stellantis may be eyeing the idled Belvidere Assembly Plant to build the Ram 1500 REV. Automotive News said Belvidere is competing with a plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan for the production of the electric truck.
The Belvidere plant produced the Jeep Cherokee until it was idled in February. The Sterling Heights plant currently produces the quad and crew cab versions of the engine-driven 1500.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said that the company is “looking for a solution” for the Belvidere Assembly Plant.
In February, Tavares said that the high costs of making electric vehicles at the plant made it difficult to keep it open, according to Reuters.
The CEO said that making the EVs at the plant would be “40% more expensive” than combustion vehicles.
The United Auto Workers blasted Stellantis’ leadership for shutting down its Belvidere operations, saying the decision “will not stand.”
Automotive News reported that Illinois officials are lobbying for Stellantis to produce the new truck in Belvidere. Global Village Space reported that Illinois is offering an “astronomical amount of money” in tax breaks to Stellantis.
Detroit Three automakers, which includes Stellantis, and the UAW will reportedly negotiate labor agreements in the fall, as a strike by workers could disrupt the production of vehicles that generate most of Stellantis’ profits.
Illinois lawmakers passed the “Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act,” or the REV Act, a little over a year ago. It included a list of tax incentives for companies if they chose Illinois to build electric vehicles in the state. Currently, Rivian produces pickup trucks and Amazon delivery vehicles at a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal; Lion Electric makes electric school buses in Joliet.
In October 2021, local lawmakers made an effort to keep the plant open by incentivizing electric vehicle manufacturing.
The Ram 1500 REV goes on sale in 2024 and promises to deliver best-in-class range. Ram targets a range of up to 500 miles, with an available 229-kwh battery. The standard battery is a 168-kwh unit that Ram estimates will deliver up to 350 miles. Reservations are currently being accepted.
Stellantis was formed in January 2021 from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA.
Stellantis is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.