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ECO-FRIENDLY SALT BATTERIES WITH THE FIAMM LABEL
The Fiamm group relies increasingly on innovation for sustainable mobility. Thanks to Zebra SoNick sodium nickel chloride technologies (salt batteries), the Vicenza company provides zero-impact solutions for electric traction motors for public transport, logistics services, and private transport with electric cars. “Salt batteries are an established technology,” remarked Nicola Cosciani, Fiamm’s director of strategic development and CEO of FZ Sonick, a group company involved in the development of sodium nickel chloride batteries. “Batteries are the most important technological components of an electric car, and the vehicle’s performance depends on them: it is therefore essential that the user knows their performance and characteristics when choosing an offer.”
Salt accumulators, distributed under the Zebra brand, are currently used in electric buses in service in various European capitals and American cities, but the demand for the cars is growing (Europe’s first-ever electric vehicle postal service fleet will be fitted with Zebra batteries: a few hundred vehicles for La Poste in France) and there are significant opportunities in other sectors, such as air, sea and railways. The Fiamm group, founded in 1942, produces and distributes starter batteries for cars and for industrial use (uninterrupted power supplies, energy backup) and horns. It operates in 60 countries, with around 3,000 employees throughout the world and approximately 950 in Italy. Turnover for 2010 has been estimated at 480 million Euros. The main markets it serves are Italy (26%) and the rest of Europe (51%), where direct sales to car companies (BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, Mercedes, Gm-Opel, PSA, Renault-Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen) account for around 30% of turnover.
In recent years, the group has believed and invested heavily in a study project for industrial application of sodium nickel chloride batteries, in collaboration with CNR. It therefore became an industrial player in the field of this technology, which provides important advantages from an ecological perspective (a very low environmental impact and no emissions) and one of efficiency (very long duration, high specific energy, low raw material costs) and today represents the most concrete and reliable solution for sectors in which traditional lead accumulators are not suitable.
The challenge of reducing pollutant emissions is also addressed by the new range of starter batteries based on AGM and AFB technology, which are intended for the new Micro HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle). Safety is the focus of new horns, also designed for use in electric vehicles, that enable the creation of specific sounds, such as pedestrian warnings, thanks to special software.