The Estrema Fulminea is not just another electric hypercar. Forget about the 1.5 mW (2,040 hp) of power and spending less than 10 seconds to go from 0 to 320 km/h (0 to 200 mph). What this Italian machine really deserves attention for is the fact that it can be the first EV with solid-state batteries.
If you are thinking about QuantumScape or Solid Power, forget about them. The Fulminea will have cells made by Abee (Avesta Battery & Energy Engineering), a Belgium company that we have never heard of until now. We have contacted it to learn more about the solid-state battery it has developed. Luckily, we did not have to wait for their answer to share some information.
Fulminea released that we can expect them to present an energy density of 450 Wh/kg (1,200 Wh/l). In the video above, published on May 13, Gianfranco Pizzuto says the number is even better: 500 Wh/kg, thanks not only to the solid-state batteries but also to the cell-to-pack arrangement. The Estrema CEO also mentions a BMS (battery management system) that would be called EV-AI. He said it is “derived from the Nasa” but did not disclose who developed it. We’ll ask him about that.
The battery pack will be placed like the one the Tesla Roadster had, behind the front and the only row of seats it seems to have. The company claims the battery pack will deliver 100 kWh while weighing just 300 kg (661.4 lb). Tesla’s 100 kWh battery pack would weigh 625 kg (1,377.9 lb). That would allow the Fulminea to weigh just 1,500 kg (3,306.9 lb).
Curiously, Abee will not be the company responsible for producing the battery pack. Instead, Imecar Elektronik, a Turkish company, will be in charge of that. We managed to speak to Mark Lander, Imecar’s founder, to learn a little bit more about that component.
According to Lander, the box will be made of carbon fiber, and some parts will present Kevlar. The battery pack voltage will be 850V, an intermediate between those on the Porsche Taycan and Hyundai Ioniq 5 (800V) and that the Lucid Air will get (900V). It also suggests the Fulminea will have an excellent fast charging capability. We asked Fulminea how good it will be.
Imecar will also make the pack for another of Fulminea’s innovations: ultracapacitors. According to Lander, two suppliers are in discussions with Estrema. We asked him about the expansion issue solid-state batteries have, and he said the cells would be in module cases, also made with special materials. The pack with the ultracapacitors seems to be the box behind the front axle in the image above.
Due to solid-state properties, the cooling system is probably also lighter and less complex than what we find in regular battery packs. We asked Estrema, Abee, and Imecar about that. Lander told us Imecar develops these systems but did not get into details about how it will work or how much lighter it can be.
Gallery: Estrema Fulminea
In the video above, Pizzuto calls this arrangement a hybrid battery pack. It would be a hybrid due to the ultracapacitors, which aim to store energy from regenerative braking and deliver it to the four motors much faster than a battery possibly can. That is something else we asked the company: Estrema probably has the numbers of how these ultracapacitors will help the Fulminea.
We are still expecting to hear from Estrema and Abee. Both companies have entered a merger agreement to create Estrema-Abee Technologies. Estrema’s CEO mentions the idea is to create an Italian gigafactory for solid-state cells. Weirdly, when you try to access the press release at Abee’s website, it leads to an error page.
A crucial question we made is if Abee has the solid-state cell ready for production. One of the main issues with them is manufacturing costs. In a car that has a €1,961,000 ($) price tag, that tends not to be a problem. The expected delivery date – the third quarter of 2023 – suggests there is still work to be done on these cells.