Global Test House Expands Facilities

| Environmental Testing

Test cells designed for the electric mobility market are gaining more capacity

UTAC is opening new facilities worldwide to meet the demand for automotive dynamometers, battery testing and climatic testing equipment

The global automotive industry is undergoing profound change and accelerating its transformation is creating new challenges for all market players. A year after its launch, UTAC (owner of the Millbrook proving ground in the UK) is accelerating its transformation with international growth on four continents: Europe, America, Asia and Africa. The organisation’s goal is to provide smart, responsive and proactive test services to support them every day.

First German laboratory

Located near Frankfurt, this new German laboratory specialises in electric driveline (EDU) tests with the aim of becoming the group’s European platform for managing all tests related to electric mobility. UTAC chose Germany to be close to the main automotive manufacturers and suppliers, to support them in the challenges of electromobility. Covering more than 4,400 square meters, the laboratory will offer two new electric powertrain test cells at its opening on November 1st this year, supplemented in 2023 by two additional cells. The potential of this new infrastructure is significant, with a plan for up to 16 test cells in total.

Shanghai laboratory

UTAC is also opening its first centre in Shanghai to provide a platform for growth in the China and Asia markets. This new laboratory will provide 1000 m2 dedicated to electric driveline testing and also to type approval. The laboratory is planned to open in the second quarter of 2023.

UK Battery Testing

In response to growing customer demand due to the continued development of the electric vehicle market, UTAC has decided to expand its battery testing laboratory with the construction of two new chambers in the UK. The two new battery test chambers will run alongside the existing test facilities and will be commissioned by the end of this year. This will provide vital additional capacity as the twelve existing test chambers are already fully booked until December 2022.

New facilities for USA

The existing California laboratory is set to double the total number of test stations at its centre during 2022 with the aim of continuing to meet the growing testing needs of its West Coast customers. The new test beds will include modular drive systems, which allows for continued flexibility and makes it easy to adapt/change the beds to meet a wide range of needs. With this expansion and the modularity of the new systems, UTAC USA will be able to easily and more efficiently transition from high-speed electric motor testing to electrified axle/transmission testing for passenger and commercial vehicles. The test stands will be able to achieve torques of more than 40,000 Nm. The battery simulators provide 1000V/1200A (peak) and the new systems provide over 1MW of power for electric vehicle systems.

First Step into Africa

The new site based in Oued Zem, about 1 hour from Casablanca in Morocco, received its first customers who were able to make use of the tracks, buildings and workshops, including the 4 km coast-down track, designed to meet the challenges of reducing CO2 emissions, reliability, type approval and safety for all types of road vehicles. UTAC is deploying all of its existing expertise into the new centre and provides its customers with all the hospitality, accommodation and logistical infrastructures necessary in a perfectly secure environment.

Laurent Benoit, CEO of UTAC added: “One year after announcing our new identity and organisation, we are pleased to keep on growing and complementing our existing assets with this new laboratory in Germany which will allow us to meet the growing customer demands. In addition, we have a 1-megawatt battery testing facility in UK, which is a unique capability in Europe.”

Jonathan Newell
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