Mahle opens test facility for EV battery development

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Mahle Powertrain has opened a dedicated new facility to enable the testing and development of electrified powertrain battery packs and modules.

The facility – based at the manufacturer’s Northampton, UK, technical center – will house climate-controlled cells to help the company simulate a repeatable real-world testing environment, along with a post-test strip-down area for assessment and disassembly of modules and compact vehicle batteries.

Simon Reader, Mahle’s director of engineering services, said, “With electrification seemingly the automotive industry’s preferred method for achieving stringent future emissions targets, there is a very time- and cost-sensitive need to develop enabling technologies such as the battery module.

“The new facility has been carefully developed to provide an extensive capability that aids battery assessment, testing and optimization. In-house development of such a facility would be time- and cost-prohibitive for OEMs and so it makes perfect sense for Mahle Powertrain, which can provide an end to end powertrain solution, to offer a broad range of expertise and capability that’s able to accelerate development time while reducing cost, in one place.”

Alongside the new post-assessment analysis, the battery assembly and testing plant will enable simulated drivecycle test conditions to be recreated, allowing engineers to test battery systems in real-world environments. The testing remit of the powertrain brand includes the ability to assess cells, modules and battery packs for storage capacity, thermal characteristics and voltage response under high discharge, among other tests.

Furthermore, the facility enables assembly of new prototype units that can then be subjected to dynamic test cycles and steady-state characterization testing, with or without battery management systems in place. Tests can be conducted at temperatures ranging from -400C to 1000C (-400F to 2120F) with precise humidity control.

Reader concluded by saying, “The significant investment into this facility reflects Mahle Powertrain’s commitment to providing our customers with services and solutions that are directly relevant to their requirements. The needs of the automotive industry are evolving, and by working with a trusted powertrain partner for testing or development work, OEMs are able to combat challenges while streamlining new vehicle development processes.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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