EV batteries will have to be 50% lighter in future, Stellantis tech chief says

FILE PHOTO: Stellantis' FIAT 500 electric car

MILAN (Reuters) - Carmaker Stellantis aims to develop lighter electric vehicle batteries, cutting weights in half to improve sustainability, the group's technology chief said on Friday.

Ned Curic said current electric vehicle (EV) batteries were "just too heavy", making vehicles "not compatible" with sustainability purposes.

"So what I have in mind and a very hard goal for my team by 2030 is to change the battery weight to at least 50% lighter battery," Curic said during the inauguration of the group's Battery Technology Center in Turin, Italy.

He said, however, that he really had "no idea" what the "battery of the future" will look like.

"We will have to think about completely new materials, new chemistry, new way of replacing this heavy, heavy, heavy materials to something much lighter," he said.

As part of its long-term efforts to improve batteries, the world's third-largest carmaker by sales, whose brands include Fiat, Peugeot and Jeep, said it had invested 40 million euros ($43 million) in its Turin's Battery Technology Center, which will be focused on in-house testing and development of EV battery packs for upcoming group vehicles.

A similar facility for North America was being built in Windsor, Canada, it added.

During the presentation Curic also said Stellantis would launch later this year a "very affordable" vehicle.

"A vehicle that just about any member of our societies can afford to buy," he said, without giving an indication of the price.

"We are consuming a lot of carbon-based energy in existing systems so moving to electric vehicle systems does allow for a lot more sustainable a future," he added.

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(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Susan Fenton)