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Ferrari opens cell lab as electric supercar competition heats up

Ferrari NV unveiled a new laboratory to research lithium battery cells as it gears up to produce its first fully electric supercar by late next year

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ferrari is seen at its headquarters in Maranello, Italy,(REUTERS)

By Bloomberg

LAST PUBLISHED 08.04.2024  |  06:00 PM IST

Ferrari NV unveiled a new laboratory to research lithium battery cells as it gears up to produce its first fully electric supercar by late next year.

The facility, led by University of Bologna scientists, will have a special focus on analyzing solid states, fast charging, thermal charging and cell safety and performance, Ferrari said Monday. 

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The research center could accelerate chief executive officer Benedetto Vigna’s efforts to bring Ferrari, famous for its roaring 12-cylinder engines, into the electric world. The company plans to unveil its first fully electric car in the fourth quarter of next year.

Competition to make the transition is intensifying. China’s BYD Co. in February unveiled a 1.68 million yuan ($233,450) high-performance EV to take challenge Ferrari and Lamborghini. While both manufacturers have released hybrid models, they have yet offer a fully electric supercar.

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The new research center, known as E-Cells Lab, could help accelerate Ferrari’s plans. The company said it will share research results with its cell suppliers to increase performance of batteries that will be assembled in Maranello, where the company is building a new factory to make hybrid and electric vehicles. Any applications from the research will also be shared with technology partner Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV.

While traditional carmakers have been advancing battery technology for mass-market vehicles, high-performance cars have different needs, like coping with higher temperatures. Porsche AG in 2021 took control of German lithium-ion specialist Custom Cells GmbH to make batteries for its top-end vehicles. 

Vigna said in a statement that Ferrari’s new lab will make significant contributions to the field of electro-chemistry.

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Ferrari said last month it’s partnering with SK On to develop batteries for electric supercars. The South Korean company has been a Ferrari supplier for several years, providing the battery for the SF90 Stradale plug-in hybrid that was unveiled in 2019.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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