Seat builds battery testing lab TCE in Spain

Seat has begun building a battery laboratory at its plant in Martorell, Spain. With an investment of more than seven million euros, the new centre will develop and test various battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles.

++ This article has been updated. Please continue reading below. ++

Construction of the new building is scheduled to be completed in April 2021. The site will then offer an area of around 1,500 square meters for the Spanish Volkswagen subsidiary to test their electrified vehicles.

Seat also sees the new Test Center Energy (TCE) investment as confirmation of its electrification plans. The battery laboratory will be located at Seat’s main Martorell plant near Barcelona. Seat says that the centre’s test capacity is 1.3 MW.

Developers in the laboratories will be able to test and evaluate all the electric components of electric vehicles. This means battery cells and modules, medium and high voltage batteries and various chargers, according to the company. There are also plans for several climate chambers where high-voltage battery units can be tested under extreme climatic conditions. In addition to the laboratories, Seat will install a workshop equipped for electric vehicles, where technicians will be able to work on up to six cars simultaneously.

Seat has been working on low, medium and high-voltage batteries in a laboratory since 2010. The new TCE is also to be attached to this unit. Over the past ten years, Seat plans to have carried out more than 2,000 test cases there for national and international research projects.

“SEAT has been committed to the company’s electrification for years, and the construction of this unique new Test Center Energy in Spain is a firm step in this direction,” says Seat’s head of development, Werner Tietz. “This new battery lab will enable us to develop the energy systems of future hybrid and electric vehicles, thus contributing to the creation of sustainable electromobility”.

Update 17.12.2021

Seat has opened the R&D centre for batteries for electric cars and plug-in hybrids at its main plant in Martorell near Barcelona, as announced last year. The company has invested more than seven million euros in Test Centre Energy (TCE), which covers an area of around 1,500 square metres.

According to Seat, it is the group’s first such centre in Europe, alongside those in China and the United States. “The TCE will carry out up to 6,000 different tests a year, which will allow us to validate and guarantee the performance of battery and charging systems,” said Seat’s chief development officer Werner Tietz. “Today’s launch is great news not only for the electrification of the company, but also because it will allow us to position ourselves as a benchmark in the development of solutions for sustainable electromobility.”

The facilities also house a workshop designed to work with up to eight cars at a time. The company states that the high-voltage safety bench runs about 1,750 tests per year. The centre also features climatic chambers which test batteries and modules under extreme thermal conditions, between -25 and +55 ºC.

Seat will use the TCE to develop and test the performance of electric and hybrid vehicle systems from Cupra, Seat and Seat Mó, and other Volkswagen Group brands. Current research focuses on batteries for the Group’s MEB (electric) and MQB (hybrid) platforms.

Seat plans to manufacture electric vehicles in Martorell from 2025., (update Dec ’21)


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