The foundation stones have been laid, quite literally, for a groundbreaking venture shaping the future of automotive innovation in North America. Stellantis, at the vanguard of electric vehicle (EV) evolution, has commenced construction on the North America Battery Technology Centre at its Automotive Research and Development Centre (ARDC) complex in Windsor, Ontario.
This state-of-the-art facility, currently materializing with the assembly of its structural steel columns, promises an impressive footprint spanning 100,000 square feet. Set to become a hub for pioneering research and development, the centre will house a remarkable array of 35 walk-in climatic test cells designed for evaluating up to 63 packs, alongside 11 reach-in test cells capable of testing up to 132 cells. More than just a facility, it’s an ecosystem primed for innovation, boasting the capability to conduct tests across a climatic range from -40°C to +80°C (-40°F to +176°F).
At its core, the Battery Technology Centre stands as a testament to Stellantis’ commitment to shaping the future of transportation. Focusing on battery-electric vehicle (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) cells, modules, and battery packs, the centre aims to redefine the benchmarks for performance, durability, and cost-efficiency.
Ned Curic, Stellantis’ Chief Engineering & Technology Officer, expressed the pivotal role the facility will play in ensuring their products meet and exceed customer expectations. “With multiple walk-in climatic test cells,” Curic stated, “we will rigorously evaluate batteries for pack testing, environmental durability tests, life cycle tests, and systems validation.”
Moreover, this ambitious project is not an isolated endeavor but part of Stellantis’ broader $3.6 billion CAD ($2.8 billion USD) investment, fortified by government support. It represents a resounding commitment to a sustainable future, securing the trajectory of both Windsor and Brampton assembly plants while augmenting the ARDC’s capabilities to expedite the transition to electrification.
The anticipated completion of construction in mid-2024 and the subsequent launch of full-scale operations in the first quarter of 2025 heralds not just the birth of a cutting-edge facility but the creation of approximately 55 highly specialized roles onsite, comprising engineers and technicians.
This initiative resonates with Stellantis’ recent strides in Europe. The company inaugurated its Battery Technology Center in Turin, Italy, an integral part of its global battery development and manufacturing network that encompasses six Gigafactories.
In alignment with the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, Stellantis’ commitment to advancing battery technology echoes loudly. A staggering $45 billion CAD ($35 billion USD) investment by 2025 in electrification and software globally underscores the magnitude of their vision and the relentless pursuit of excellence.