For Stellantis, too heavy cars are a big mistake and it is necessary to make sure to reduce their weight. For this, the group should bet on smaller batteries, pending the development of solid accumulators.
Weight is the enemy. This phrase is very often used in the automotive world, and takes up the words of the founder of Lotus, Colin Chapman “light is right“. If this has always been the case, it is all the more true with the rise of the electric car.
A falling weight
Because we know, the heavier a car is, the more it consumes. And this is valid for thermal models, which also emit more CO2, as well as for electric ones. If it is now more and more easier to find a charging stationwhile the network is growing with more than 100,000 outlets in France alone, it is still essential to act to reduce energy consumption.
This is why more and more manufacturers want to work on reducing the weight of their cars. This is particularly the case with Stellantis, which already offers many models such as the Peugeot e-208, DS 3 E-Tense and other Jeep Avenger, which we have recently been able to try. Interviewed by journalists from Automotive News its director of engineering and technology Ned Curis understood this well.
For him, the weight is a real problem. He assures : “I find it frustrating how heavy the cars have become“. He adds that “it’s not good for the environment, it’s not good for resources, it’s not good for efficiency […] if we are committed to what is sustainable, we really need to address the issue of weight. We say we want to save the planet, but as an industry we still add a lot of weight to cars“.
Which solution ?
In other words, the Franco-Italian group, result of the merger between PSA and FCA, is now keen to correct the problem and offer lighter cars. Because for the time being, there is good and less good, between a Citroën Ami which weighs only 482 kilos and a RAM 1500 REV displaying a weight of more than three tons on the scale. And it also comes at a cost, which would be far too high for most customers according to the spokesperson.
Ned Curic explains that the challenge now is to find solutions for reduce the weight of future electric cars of the group. If the engineer does not give more information for the moment, the key could in particular be in adoption of smaller batteries. It is this same strategy that Ford has adopted for its e-Tourneo Courier as well as its future electric Puma which will see the light of day in 2025.
Because who says big battery, says increased weight and higher consumption, which can resultultimatelyby reduced autonomy. So implanting this type of accumulator hoping to be able to drive more is not necessarily a good idea. Stellantis could also bet on solid batteries, which offer greater density, which also reduces the demand for lithium. But this technology is not yet ready for mass production.
In the meantime, the group wants to install LFP (lithium – iron – phosphate) packs in its future cars. A cheaper solution, but this technology is on the other hand less dense. This means that for the same autonomy, the battery will have to be larger. The group’s spokesperson also wishes simplify its future cars more generally, in order to make them more pleasant for customers. This will also be reflected in production costs and in the final price paid by them.