FCA to build battery hub in Turin

23 October 2019

23 October 2019 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will build a new battery assembly complex in its Mirafiori plant in Turin as it advances its electrification plans. The complex will be housed in a specially designed building on the site, with the potential to be expanded for future projects. The most advanced technology will be used with modular and flexible processes, including the use of collaborative robots working hand-in-hand with operators. ′The automotive industry is undergoing a period of profound change and one of the major trends is closely linked to electrification,’ said Pietro Gorlier, COO for FCA’s EMEA Region. ′With its new car battery assembly centre at Mirafiori, FCA accelerates its drive to electrify, adding now another element to the ‘ecosystem’ that starts from supply chain and ends with customer support. A journey passing through the recent partnerships on recharging infrastructure, Vehicle-to-Grid and services to support customers of hybrid and fully electric cars, from Italy to the rest of the world.’ Growing plans The investment is part of a plan announced by FCA last year, which will see the carmaker invest €5 billion between 2019 and 2021 to help launch its first electric and hybrid models. Locating the manufacture of these vehicles in Italy will also help the company to improve capacity utilisation in the country. The new ′Battery Hub’ will also have space for training courses as well as prototyping and experimentation during the pilot process. This initiative will allow FCA to respond quickly to the continually evolving electrification sector, the company says. The facility will also have an advanced technology centre dedicated to quality control and testing of components provided by its suppliers. Work on the new battery hub will start early next year, FCA said. The initial investment in place will be approximately €50 million. Technology investment The announcement comes a few months after FCA said it would build a new electric-powered Fiat 500 at the Mirafiori plant, starting in the second quarter of 2020. Around 1,200 people will be dedicated to the production of the vehicle, with initial output of 80,000 units per year and the potential to increase this in the future. FCA has also announced that the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be the first Maserati models to run 100% on electricity. Both will be manufactured at the Turin-based production hub. Fiat is the latest carmaker to confirm a battery assembly plant next to a manufacturing base. Most carmakers intent on perfecting their EV plans are finding a need to localise the two production philosophies; to improve the supply chain and control the supply into their plants. Daimler is building a gigafactory and BMW has partnered with Chinese firm CATL to build a production facility in Germany.