In Turin, car group Stellantis has opened its first battery technology center – one of Europe’s most significant. More than a hundred employees will test, verify, and produce new battery products for its upcoming range of all-electric vehicles.
As part of its Dare Forward 2030 plan, Stellantis is subjecting the Italian Mirafiora factory to a substantial makeover. Home to the all-electric Fiat 500e, the site also houses a battery for producing The Battery Hub cell packs. That €50-million investment has now been backed with the inauguration of a battery knowledge complex worth €40 million.
From cells to packs
The center spreads over three levels, and its heart has 32 climatic test chambers. A quarter of those units are reserved for experimenting at the cell level; the others are used for testing full packs. In the latter, the ambient temperature can be regulated from -40 to 60 degrees Celsius, while the employees can try 47 packs in parallel.
In the remaining chambers, specialists will investigate innovative chemistries at the cell level and verify these new technologies’ behavior and stability. In total, the center spreads over 8 000 square metres. It will serve as the nerve center for the future Stellantis product portfolio.
The group’s ambition is to sell electric-only in Europe as of 2030 for all of its brands – to keep its current ICE cars up and running, the company bets on e-fuels in collaboration with oil giant Aramco.
“We are amid a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redefine mobility, providing smart and sustainable solutions for our customers,” said Ned Curic, Stellantis Chief Engineering and Technology Officer. “Our new Battery Technology Center at Mirafiori brings together the tools and talented people we need.”
Mirafiori is not the only battery knowledge hub within Stellantis. The group is building a second unit in Canada but in a joint venture with LG Chem. The battery packs from the group must be interchangeable across its different platforms as part of the strategy outlined at EV Day 2021.
The company unveiled at the conference that it follows a dual chemistry strategy consisting of a high-density solution for performance and longer distances next to a nickel-cobalt-free option to minimize the dependency on critical materials.
A solid-state pack is also on the table and scheduled for 2026. The results from the Technology Center must also drive costs down. Most Stellantis brands are mainstream, so affordability is critical to the business model.