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Stellantis taking an entire ecosystem approach to charging its EVs

If you spend any considerable time with an electric vehicle, you know there’s more to charging than just having a charging station to plug into. Where are they located? Are they busy? Do they work? Are they along my route? How long do I need to stay there? How do I pay for it? These are all questions a current EV driver often has to answer before going on a journey.

Stellantis understands this, and is launching Free2move Charge to help address these overall concerns. The company describes it as a “360-degree ecosystem” to provide everything from charging stations to grid management.

“As the pace of mainstream EV adoption accelerates, our customers need us to be more than just a mobility provider,” said Ricardo Stamatti, Stellantis Senior Vice President, Charging & Energy Business Unit. “We are taking the lead in establishing a dedicated business unit that will support our bold electrification strategy and act as a natural extension of our iconic brands. Free2move Charge is the first product rolling out, exemplifying our purpose of delivering performance, value, sustainability and electrified mobility freedom for all.”

There are three pillars to Free2move Charge, including Home, Business, and Go. Home is pretty self-explanatory, as the company will offer level 2 home charging solutions. Business is companies and businesses who want to integrate charging. Go is how to address charging needs and payment while on the go.

There’ll be apps for your mobile device, along with updated route planning software built into Stellantis products that have a plug.

One interesting thing that Stamatti discussed in a roundtable with automotive journalists was an idea of rewards. While grid management software can take control of many parts of the ecosystem, human behavior is something that needs to adapt to have the best charging experience.

Imagine you’re going to take a trip for the weekend. The Free2move software could bribe you to charge the night before so you don’t have to charge on a busier day or at a busier time. That bribery could come in the form of rewards or cold hard cash.

At press time, nobody at Stellantis is willing to comment on whether the company will be adopting the NACS connector on its EVs, but with new hardware rolling out as part of Free2move Charge, it’d make sense to make that decision sooner than later to reduce the amount of adapters needed in the future.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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