Home » Here’s A First Look At The Electric Drive Module That Will Power Jeeps, Ram Trucks, And More

Here’s A First Look At The Electric Drive Module That Will Power Jeeps, Ram Trucks, And More

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One of the things that seems strange – but maybe actually isn’t – about our coming electric era is just how modular major components like whole drivetrains are becoming. Stellantis just announced a $155 million investment to build electric drive modules (EDM, not this kind of EDM) utilizing three Indiana-area plants: Indiana Transmission, Kokomo Transmission and Kokomo Casting. These EDM modules will be used to power battery-electric vehicles built on either Stellantis’ STLA Large and STLA Frame platforms, which are unibody and body-on-frame, respectively. STLA Large will be used on vehicles ranging from Peugeots to Jeeps, and STLA Frame will be used for trucks and light commercial vehicles. This all feels amazingly plug-and-play, but that seems to be how the world is going.

I mean, really, it’s not that different than the past; Volkswagen used the same basic air-cooled flat-four engine to power Beetles and buses and convertibles and off-roaders and trucks for decades, and our own David reminded me that the Chrysler Pentastar engine was used in minivans, muscle cars, and Jeeps. That’s only two examples, but of course lots of cars shared effectively the same basic drivetrains. This may just feel different because those drivetrains, in the form of the EDM, are such self-contained little units.

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There’s actually three different EDMs that can be used on the STLA platform, which has Small, Medium, and Large variants, though the ones being made in Indiana will be just for the big boys. I wonder if they have a common mounting system that might allow for hot-rodding some STLA Small-based Fiat or Citroën by shoehorning in one of these Big Indiana EDMs? I’m pretty certain somebody will try that in the probably closer future than we think.

Stellantis is planning 25 new battery-electric vehicle launches between now and 2030, which is also the date Stellantis wants to hit 50% EV sales in America by, so there should be plenty of vehicles, including Ram trucks and 4×4 Jeeps, that will use one or more of these EDMs.

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Stellantis says that 265 jobs “will be retained” across the three plants, which employ about 7,000 workers in total. Does that mean those jobs were once in danger? I’m not certain, but I’m glad they’ll be retained, regardless.

Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, issued a statement that tells us almost nothing, really, but you can read it anyway, if you’re into that sort of thing:

“While we continue our successful transition to a decarbonized future in our European operations, we are now setting those same foundational elements for the North American market. By combining the benefits of the EDM with our new BEV-centric platforms and innovative battery technologies, we will offer our customers a variety of electric vehicles with unparalleled performance and range at more affordable prices. And with our in-house manufacturing capabilities and expertise, we will do it with greater flexibility and efficiency.”

Hey, that’s great, Carlos. Keep it up, big guy.

The plants will be retooled and production is expected to start in the third quarter of 2024.

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Dennis Frederickson
Dennis Frederickson
11 months ago

So you’re the automotive engineer now?
What’s next, DT doing graphics?

That One Guy
That One Guy
11 months ago

The jobs retained thing does mean they were in danger (sort of). It’s likely those jobs were working on something that’s going out of production, so if they didn’t get a new product, they’re at risk. However, the union is involved (or at least informed of) these decisions and does a lot to argue for “retaining” jobs. If they didn’t get this they would have fought for something else. With some components being unnecessary or simpler in EV’s (i.e. transmissions), they’re going to be extra stingy arguing for the EV stuff to stay in-house.

DadBod
DadBod
11 months ago

Ford sells a crate electric motor, and it sounds like this Stellantis motor is modular as well. So how do you buy one and drop it in a project car? Don’t they require a ton of specialized programming and smart-person stuff?

Grey alien in a beige sedan
Grey alien in a beige sedan
11 months ago

Resident Hoosier here…. sorry about that seal. It was designed by a former state legislator in 1635 and his name was Bass Ackwards, which is to say, he is very representative of this state, even today.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
11 months ago

Native Tennessean here, which is to say not exactly something to be really proud of since our state is in lockstep with many of the ass-backwards shit happening in the GOP today and its not a terribly exciting place to live either…. but years ago I did drive through Indiana and man… hate to say it… it made TN seem ” Exciting” in comparison.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
11 months ago

Okay, but what I really want is an explanation of the Indiana state seal.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
11 months ago

A guy chops down trees so he can train his pet bison for show jumping?

M K
M K
11 months ago

Obviously the Great Seal of the State of Indiana signifies the hardworking lumberjacks that get up early in the morning to chop down trees to feed hungry Buffalos which are thereby milked to produce the rich creamy maple syrup the state is known for.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
11 months ago
Reply to  M K

I wasn’t at all aware that Buffalo ate trees. I suppose I learn something new every day!

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
11 months ago
Reply to  Robot Turds

That’s why the Great Plains never had any. But now, since the buffalo are almost gone, we have to plant corn and wheat there to keep the trees at bay.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
11 months ago

What you see on the seal is a distant memory of a long-bygone era. If the seal were to be updated to represent the modern Indiana, it would feature strip clubs and fireworks.

Robot Turds
Robot Turds
11 months ago

That sounds like a exciting seal!

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
11 months ago

A lot depends on how long it takes to transition from ICE to EVs in the Chrysler product lineup. It seems to me that there will be a long period when they are manufacturing and selling both types, so perhaps headcount is even increased for a few years? Long term if they go to a very high percentage of EVs, no doubt the employment numbers go down, especially if batteries are outsourced.

Drew
Drew
11 months ago

The use of “retained” begs the question how many jobs are not being retained. Hopefully, that number is lower than the 265. Even better, zero.

I am always suspicious of large companies making announcements about employee retention, because there is usually more to the story than we will likely hear.

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