English manufacturer Lotus is launching a new battery testing facility to assess energy storage solutions, as part of its drive towards electrification.
This project, called BattCon, is introducing containerised battery test facilities designed to help meet increasing demand for new UK-based battery testing to support EV supply chain and OEMs.
It will be used to carry out various battery cell, module and pack characterisation tests, performance evaluations, and component and lifetime testing under controlled conditions. Early feasibility study support and validation of mature designs for implementation into new vehicles will also be available.
BattCon is an abbreviation of Battery Containerised Test Facility. The ‘containers’ are individual walk-in laboratories and will be in operation at Lotus HQ in Hethel, Norfolk, as well as the new Lotus Advanced Technology Centre in Wellesbourne, West Midlands.
Each of them will be the size of a standard 40ft shipping container and so they can easily be packed up and transported as a mobile testing unit, available to Lotus Engineering customers wherever they are.
The pilot scheme has three operational units and will also offer capacity determination, resistance mapping, current and power mapping, open circuit voltage determination and heat capacity. One of the three Lotus containers will feature an ambient chamber, the temperature of which can be raised or lowered to replicate climatic extremes around the world.
BattCon will conclude in spring 2021 and is co-funded by the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF), part of the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.
The project is aimed for companies new to the EV field, and those who would otherwise need to invest in additional test facilities. They will have access to a fast, efficient and cost-effective solution to develop new technologies and speed up their route to market, according to Matt Windle, Executive Director, Engineering, Lotus.
“As the race intensifies for automotive and other sectors to develop new and novel battery technologies, there will be increased demand for suitable testing facilities,” he said. “Project BattCon begins to address this problem by evaluating how Lotus Engineering can meet the battery testing opportunities for the UK supply chain and OEMs.”