Mahle expands e-mobility test capacities
The UK-based development service provider Mahle Powertrain (MPT) is investing a total of 12 million euros in the construction of five new test and development facilities. MPT is a subsidiary of the Stuttgart-based supplier Mahle and also operates a test bench for electric drive systems in Stuttgart.
For the current year, Mahle Powertrain has now announced, among other things, the construction of a test centre for batteries at its headquarters in Northampton, England. The new facility, which will have its own area for the assembly of battery modules and three climatic test chambers for complete battery packs, will be ready for operation from autumn, according to a company statement. The core of the activities there will be battery development and validation as well as the measurement and optimisation of charging and discharging processes. MPT had already commissioned a first development facility on site in 2019, in which batteries can be tested under various climatic conditions.
Also in Northampton this year, Mahle Powertrain will set up a second test chamber for the development and validation of electric vehicles under various climatic conditions at its Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Centre. The chamber will be equipped with a four-wheel-drive test bench and a battery emulator, the statement said. It will also have all the necessary safety measures for testing hydrogen-powered vehicles.
According to Mahle Powertrain, further new test facilities are to be built in Germany and the United States and will be used, among other things, for the development of drives for e-bikes. At the headquarters of parent company Mahle in Fellbach near Stuttgart, MPT has already been operating a new test stand for electric drive systems for a short time. Individual drive units, but also complete electric axle drives for electric cars and plug-in hybrids can be tested there.
“Our portfolio includes electrification, the development of fuel cells, and solutions to support the use of hydrogen and alternative fuels in smart electrified combustion engines. We want to grow further in this area in particular,” expresses Simon Reader, Head of Engineering at Mahle Powertrain. “We’re in an excellent position to help our customers develop their sustainable mobility solutions.”
MPT cites the areas of design, simulation and development of batteries, fuel cells, electric drives and powertrains, transmissions, software, vehicle electronics and control systems as its own areas of focus. Currently, the Mahle subsidiary is already present with its facilities in Great Britain, the USA, Germany, China and Brazil.
At the parent company in Stuttgart, meanwhile, the management has to reorganise itself. Jörg Stratmann, Chairman of the Management Board of the Mahle Group, will leave the supplier on 31 March 2021. Officially, the separation is amicable, but according to a media report earlier this month, there was strong criticism of the future strategy.