Stellantis Ventures, the corporate venture capital of the automotive group of the same name, one of the main European and global manufacturers, of which Exor holds 14.3%, announced on Friday 12th its participation as a strategic investor in the new round of financing in the French startup Tiamat, which is developing sodium ion batteries.
The new capital raising, which amounts to 22 million euros and is configured as a Series A round, also saw the participation of the transalpine giant of special materials Arkéma.
Tiamat is the first company in the world to have recently applied sodium ion technology to an electrified vehicle. This technology offers a lower cost per kilowatt hour and is free of lithium and cobalt. Sodium, which is also abundantly available, offers greater sustainability combined with less dependence on politically unstable or unreliable suppliers.
The startup, a spin-off of the French National Center for Scientific Research (the equivalent of the Italian CNR) will use the proceeds of the round in which Stellantis Ventures also participated to start the construction of a giga factory in France for the production of batteries sodium ion for power tools and stationary storage applications, and then aims to increase the production of second generation products for BEV (battery electric vehicle) applications. When fully operational, production will reach 5 Gwh. Initial production of 0.7 Gwh is expected to start in 2025.
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Stellantis Ventures investment supports the automotive group’s mission to provide clean, safe and affordable mobility to customers around the world
In fact, sodium ion technology promises more convenient energy storage than the lithium ion batteries widely used today.
“Exploring new options for more sustainable and affordable batteries using widely available raw materials is a key part of the Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan that will see us achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2038,” said Ned Curic , Chief Technology Officer and Head of Stellantis engineering. Technology Officer. “Our customers are asking for zero-emission vehicles that offer a combination of excellent range, performance and convenience. This is our North Star, as Stellantis and its partners work today to develop breakthrough technologies for the future.”
The shift to electric propulsion is a key pillar of Stellantis’ Dare Forward 2030 strategic plan, in which it is expected that 100% of car sales in Europe will be composed of battery-powered vehicles while in the United States the weight on sales of passenger cars and trucks electric lights will be 50%. To achieve these goals, Stellantis is securing the supply of batteries for approximately 400 GWh of capacity. Stellantis is on track to become a zero-carbon company by 2038.
Supporting this ambition, Stellantis Ventures has secured the supply of raw materials for electric vehicles until 2027 by signing key agreements around the world
Stellantis is also investing in the development of alternative technologies for energy storage, including solid-state batteries with Factorial Energy , lithium-sulfur chemistry with the Californian Lyten Inc. and sodium with Tiamat, one of the 11 best-performing technology start-ups awarded the 2023 Stellantis Ventures Award last December.
Launched in spring 2022 with an initial investment of 300 million euros Stellantis Ventures is Stellantis’ first corporate venture fund. An integrated part of the Dare Forward 2030 plan, it targets early- and later-stage startups that are developing cutting-edge technologies for the automotive and mobility sectors and are focused on improving outcomes for individual customers and society as a whole.
The fund has a unique dual mandate that requires portfolio companies to have strong and sustainable growth prospects, as well as high potential for technological adoption of Stellantis’ products and manufacturing processes.
In addition to Tiamat and the aforementioned Lyten, the fund has invested in nine international startups, and more precisely in:
6K, which enables advanced sustainable manufacturing to ensure clean, low-carbon material production. 6K’s UniMelt plasma process is a cutting-edge platform for the production of sustainable domestic critical materials for EV batteries, 3D printing and endless other applications. 6K offers truly sustainable, faster, cleaner and lower cost production.
Beweelsociety, a startup with roots within Stellantis, is a developer of connected electric bicycles and provider of a wide range of services, from purchasing to riding, through a single digital app, including financing, insurance, facilitation and assistance services (maintenance, anti-theft). By expanding the vision beyond the traditional car, beweelsociety helps Stellantis accelerate the growth of sustainable and gentle mobility. The first electric bicycles will be available for purchase from specialist cycling networks and specialist technology retailers in Europe, starting in the last quarter of 2023.
NetZero, a company specializing in the long-term removal of carbon from the atmosphere by turning agricultural residues into biochar, a very stable form of carbon. Biochar can be mixed into agricultural land, improving yields and reducing the need for fertilizers. NetZero’s mission is to bring biochar to scale in the tropics, for the climate and people. Stellantis invested last February in the 11 million euro Series A round raised by the French startup.
Nauto specializes in artificial intelligence and computer vision technology for commercial fleets. Nauto’s safety system evaluates both driver behavior risk and external road risk, warning and instructing drivers to reduce distracted driving and prevent collisions in real time, while respecting the driver’s privacy. Nauto Cloud and mobile applications help fleet safety and risk managers operate more efficiently, identify and train at-risk drivers, and speed up claims processing.
The Nauto solution will be available this summer in the United States on Stellantis commercial fleet vehicles. The Californian scaleup announced Stellantis’ investment on June 15, 2023, recalling that since the start of its activity it has raised a total of 215 million dollars from investors. Investors already present in the capital include SoftBank Group Corp, Greylock Partners, BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Allianz Group , which joined in 2017, and Playground Global and Draper Nexus, entered in 2016.
Trails Offroad, run by off-road experts and enthusiasts, offers a digital library of more than 3,000 detailed off-road trail guides across the United States and Canada that can be uploaded to Jeep’s Uconnect system. Each guide provides detailed information, including route descriptions, key points, difficulty ratings, points of interest, videos and reviews. Starting in summer 2023, select new Jeep vehicles will have access to more than 200 notable route guides, including the 62 Jeep Badge of Honor routes. The complete catalog will be offered as a subscription service.
Viaduct , an artificial intelligence platform designed to improve vehicle analysis for quality and maintenance. The platform uses its machine learning algorithms to identify anomalies in fault and sensor data, predict vehicle health and improve preventative maintenance routines, making vehicles safer, more reliable and more personalized.
Geoflex, a global operator of satellite positioning enhancement technology designed to increase the accuracy, integrity and operational continuity of all global navigation satellite system receivers, regardless of brand. Its hypergeolocation services provide accurate, secure and robust positioning with an accuracy of 4 centimeters anywhere in the world, on land, at sea and in the air. Stellantis invested in the French startup’s €6 million Series A round last March.
Envisics, a world-renowned pioneer of dynamic holographic technologies and their applications for augmented reality head-up displays (AR-HUD) and automotive sensor systems. The advancement of Envisics technology has the opportunity to transform automotive displays and revolutionize the in-car experience. Stellantis invested in the British scaleup’s $50 million Series C round , raised last March, which brought the company to a post-money valuation of $500 million.
Electra Vehicles, leading provider of battery software solutions for electric mobility. Electra provides active and adaptive controls for battery management systems, predictive battery analytics and battery pack design software. With integrated and cloud-based artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)-based battery enhancement functions, Electra aims to maximize the full potential of battery power to push e-mobility further. Founded in 2015 by Italian Fabrizio Martini, the scaleup provides AI-based software solutions for electric vehicles. Stellantis invested in the round led by the UV T-Growth fund managed by the Milan-based United Ventures sgr.
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