REUTERS EVENTS-Stellantis eyeing two more N. American battery plants by 2030

The logo of Stellantis is seen on a flag at the main entrance of FCA Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

DETROIT, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Stellantis (STLA.MI) will need four electric-vehicle battery plants in North America by 2030, the company's North American chief operating officer said on Tuesday.

The automaker has already announced two joint-venture battery plants - one in Indiana and the other in Canada - and will need two more plants in the United States, Canada or Mexico, Mark Stewart said at a Reuters Events auto conference in Detroit. The first two plants are scheduled to launch in 2025.

"By quarter two, quarter three of '26, if the market continues on the path that it's on, we'll need the third plant online by late '26, early '27. We are already in discussions for plant No. 3 and possibly plant No. 4. We will need four plants by 2030."

The Indiana plant is a joint venture with South Korea's Samsung SDI (006400.KS), while the Canada plant will be built with South Korea's LG Energy Solution (373220.KS). Partners for the two additional plants are up for discussion, Stewart said.

Stewart expects to make announcement for the third plant by the second quarter next year.

Asked whether Stellantis was open to the workers at the joint-venture battery plants being represented by the United Auto workers union, Stewart said it was up to the workers but the company was open to the idea.

"We welcome those plants being union," he said. "We anticipate they likely will be."

Stewart also said Stellantis in the last two weeks decided to nearly double annual production capacity for its EV delivery vans to more than 200,000 vehicles. (AMZN.O) is among Stellantis' customers for the van.

"It's going to have even more upside," he said in explaining the decision, adding that the 2023 model had sold out within 13 hours.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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