The electric vehicle industry is a business sector that does not wait for anyone, as new technologies are being presented to the public every day. Therefore, what is advanced today, may well be obsolete by tomorrow. Automakers cannot allow themselves to waste any time. That is why there is a UK company that is planning to help constructors to stay right on target. WhichEV checks Mahle's latest innovations in the area of battery testing.
The Mahle Group is a leader in international development of engine systems, filtration and mechatronics. The company also specialises in providing engineering services for the design, development and integration of electrified powertrain systems. It has now opened a dedicated facility in Northampton for the extensive testing of battery modules.
The new test facility will enable the post-test assessment of modules and compact vehicle batteries through strip-down and disassembly. It will also provide a climate-controlled environment to carry out real-world simulated testing with the goal of streamlining the test and validation stages of emerging technologies.
According to Simon Reader, Mahle’s director of engineering services, this new state-of-the-art building will reduce time and cost of production for automakers.
“The new facility has been carefully developed to provide an extensive capability that aids battery assessment, test and optimisation,” Reader said. “[It] 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.”
Mahle's new project will allow the battery systems to be tested under simulated real driving conditions to evaluate the performance in realistic environments. Moreover, automakers will have the ability to assess cells, modules and battery packs in order to test the open circuit voltage, storage capacity and thermal characteristics.
The new highly modular facility also gives the possibility to assemble new prototype units. Dynamic test cycles and steady state characterisation testing can be conducted with or without battery management systems. The tests can be performed within the temperature range of -40oC to 100oC with precise humidity control and protection from a EUCAR 5 fire detection and suppression system.
“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,” Reader said.
While the testing facility may be new, Mahle has been working in and around engine systems, filtration, mechatronics and thermal management systems since it acquired the Cosworth development team in 2005.
Right now, it operates eight technical centres across the globe, from the UK and Germany, through the USA and Brazil, right across to mainland China. The company was proud to confirm that it sources the best solutions and components possible – independent from the main group. While its work has been, historically, focused on the internal combustion engine – Mahle is evolving in light of the new trend toward electrification.