Stellantis has revealed a prototype electric vehicle battery, which integrates the inverter and charger functions within the modules. This application frees space in the EV and makes the battery more efficient in terms of cost and range, the group said in a press release.
Stellantis, along with TotalEnergies-owned battery solutions company Saft, worked with France’s National Centre For Scientific Research (CNRS) for four years to design, model, and simulate this technology.
The collaborative research project is called the Intelligent Battery Integrated System (IBIS) – its prototype has been operational since the summer of 2022. The group says several patents have been filed for IBIS, which marks a major transition from conventional electrical energy conversion systems.
An electronic conversion board performs the functions of the power inverter and charger and is positioned close to the lithium-ion battery cells, as per the statement. An advanced control system then facilitates the alternating current to travel from the battery directly to the traction motors.
The brand has demonstrated in the video above how AC power can go directly to the battery during external charging. The stored energy, housed in modules independent from each other, could then power the electric motors. The group claims that this technology might make EVs more affordable, efficient, reliable and possibly increase longevity.
The next step for the collaboration is to develop a fully functional prototype vehicle, which will be tested by Stellantis on its existing tracks and public roads. The IBIS team’s intention is to incorporate the technology in Stellantis EVs before the end of the decade.
Stellantis owns brands like Jeep, Ram, Chrysler, Fiat, and Maserati among several others. It plans to launch 75 BEVs by the end of the decade under its Dare Forward 2030 strategy, which includes unveiling a sub-$27,000 ($25,000 euros) Citroen small electric hatchback later this year for the European market.
Automakers and companies specializing in battery technologies are racing to increase range, rationalize costs and improve space and efficiency. Last week, Chinese carmaker Nio released a document revealing a 150-kilowatt-hour solid-state battery with a claimed range of 577 miles.
Toyota, the world’s top-selling carmaker in 2022, has claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in solid-state batteries, which can deliver up to 745 miles of range. Although note that these claims will vary after future vehicles, if and when equipped with these technologies, go through test cycles like EPA, WLTC, and more.