Stellantis may not have been the first to commit to the path of energy transition, but now it aims to exclusively offer electric cars in Europe by 2030. To make this happen, the company has developed four new platforms and several engines in-house, all geared towards delivering high-performance electric vehicles. In addition to producing electric vehicles, Stellantis is involved in the production of batteries. The group has recently presented IBIS, a revolutionary battery designed with Saft.
A team of engineers and researchers from CNRS, Stellantis and Saft has revealed an innovative prototype of an energy storage battery that has been designed, modelled and simulated for four years. This battery integrates the functions of an inverter and charger to make it more efficient. The new design improves the range of battery electric vehicles while making them more reliable and less expensive. The integration of the inverter and charger functions in the battery has improved its efficiency, reliability and reduced cost and range issues in battery electric vehicles. This integration has also resulted in the extra space being freed up in the vehicle.
The collaborative research project is called IBIS (Intelligent Battery Integrated System). A stationary demonstrator that has been operational since the summer of 2022 marks a major departure from the currently used electrical energy conversion systems, and is the subject of numerous patents. The project has enabled the validation of numerous innovative technical concepts and mastery in their control and operation for automotive or stationary use.
The IBIS project is nearing a significant paradigm shift in electric powertrain design within the field of electromobility. IBIS installs the electronic converter boards that manage power inverting and battery charging functions as close to the lithium-ion cells as viable. The employment of an advanced control system facilitates direct production of alternating current for the electric motor from the battery.
The IBIS project team is currently working on constructing a car prototype. This prototype will be examined on Stellantis development benches, test tracks, and open roads. The IBIS project members aim to offer this technology on Stellantis-branded vehicles by the end of this decade.
Ned Curic, who is the Chief Engineering and Technology Officer at Stellantis, said that their move towards electric vehicles is driven by innovation and research excellence. Their aim is to use the latest technologies to meet the real needs of their electric vehicle customers in areas such as autonomy, habitability, and affordability. They are also striving to reduce the carbon footprint by improving efficiency. This ground-breaking battery system has the potential to be a significant achievement in Stellantis' efforts to offer useful, easy, and advanced technology to everyone.
The IBIS project aims to develop affordable and efficient technology that reduces the weight and cost of producing electric vehicles. Additionally, this technology provides new functionalities.
Saft, a project partner, will offer complete installations with improved battery availability, optimized use of energy, and smaller installation size in stationary energy storage for power grids and renewable energy integration. The IBIS battery's built-in design will make it easier to maintain and upgrade the system, while also reducing the site's carbon footprint.
Using the same battery solutions for both electric vehicles and stationary storage improves competitiveness for both products due to volume effects in expanding markets.
Cédric Duclos, the CEO of Saft, says "Saft has been a leader in industrial battery innovation for over a century. Our scientists are pioneers in the field of industrial batteries and are capable of conducting long-term research programs like IBIS. We are excited about collaborating with other experts in this field on this groundbreaking project that aims to transform electric mobility and stationary energy storage."
ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency, administers the IBIS project, which is funded by the Future Investment Plan (France 2030) and coordinated by Stellantis. The project brings together industrial partners Saft (TotalEnergies Group), E2CAD, and Sherpa Engineering with CNRS research labs (GeePs, SATIE, LEPMI), and the Lafayette Institute.