Stellantis has already announced its plans to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2038. Today, the automaker has announced a new business unit to help it reach that goal while generating 2 billion euros per year in revenue by 2030. The “Circular Economy” business will help make revenue less dependent on finite, rare and ecologically problematic materials.
The Circular Economy model features what Stellantis calls a “4R” strategy, comprising remanufacturing, repair, reuse and recycling. The goal is to make materials last as long as they can, reducing reliance on the acquisition of those precious new materials in the future by returning them to the business loop when they’ve reached the end of their first life. Through these processes, Stellantis says it can save up to 80% raw material and 50% energy compared to manufacturing a new part.
Remanufacturing, or “reman” in Stellantis shorthand, means dismantling, cleaning and rebuilding parts to OEM spec. Nearly 12,000 remanufactured parts are available for customers to purchase. Some remanufacturing is done in-house, and some with partners and through joint ventures.
Repair is pretty obvious — fixing parts to put back into vehicles. This also consists of reconditioning, to make a vehicle feel like new. Stellantis boasts 21 “e-repair” centers for repairing electric vehicle batteries.
Reuse refers to parts still in good condition from end-of-life vehicles sold as-is. Stellantis says it has 4.5 million multi-brand parts in inventory. These are sold in 155 countries through the B-Parts e-commerce platform. Reuse also refers second-life options, such as using batteries outside of automotive purposes.
Recycling involves dismantling parts and scraps back into raw material form that is then looped back into the manufacturing process. Stellantis says it has collected 1 million parts for recycling in the past six months. Recycling doesn’t get counted in that aforementioned 2 billion euros of revenue, but it does save the company money on acquisition of raw materials. As for batteries, specifically, Stellantis expects this recycling business to ramp up after 2030, when the packs currently in service begin to reach the end of their lifecycle.
Stellantis will use its new “SUSTAINera” label to denote parts that are offered as part of its Circular Economy business. “The SUSTAINera label represents our promise to provide sustainable, transparent and affordable products and services to our customers for all brands of vehicles, without compromising quality, while preserving the environment through decreased waste and less use of our planet’s resources,” said Alison Jones, Stellantis Senior Vice President, Circular Economy Business Unit.
As part of the business, Stellantis is setting up both central hubs and local loops based on regional needs. Stellantis’ Mirafiori complex opens in 2023 as a circular economy hub. Local loops rolling out in various countries and states, like that in Brazil, where parts like starter motors and alternators are remanufactured and old across 1,000 local dealerships. Stellantis plans to have its 4R strategy operating in all regions by 2030.