Major UK automotive centre invests in electric powertrain testing

| Environmental Testing

Millbrook enhances battery testing capabilities

Millbrook is investing in skills and technology to expand its expertise in electric vehicle powertrain testing from cells through to full systems.

Millbrook is making a significant investment in the people, equipment and facilities needed to test anything from cells to large batteries and electric powertrains. The investment enables Millbrook to apply a wide range of test procedures to suit customers’ exact requirements, and is in addition to its existing capabilities, making it one of the major UK centres for battery and e-propulsion testing.

Millbrook already enables customers to: assess the performance of battery cells, modules and packs; determine pack performance during a crash event; and subject batteries to a range of environmental conditions. Millbrook offers 48V hybrid test cell capability, full EV durability testing and electric machine and inverter testing. Its facilities are suitable for a range of tests on the latest generation of vehicle powertrains – including mild hybrids (MHEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV).

The next stage of investment will add six test cells for cycling complete automotive battery packs, operating at 1,100V and up to 750kW per cell and with temperature capability from -40°C to +90°C. The test cells will be able to simulate rapid changes in temperature while cycling the battery packs. The new test cells will be at Millbrook Proving Ground and the investment includes the infrastructure to support the new test cells and significant further capacity in the future as Millbrook continues to expand its services to support manufacturers and automotive suppliers in developing hybrid and battery systems.

This latest expansion brings with it a major drive for skills. Millbrook has many exciting opportunities to join dynamic teams of highly skilled professionals and will be recruiting for more roles in battery testing in the coming months. It is committed to providing its employees with a creative working environment with scope for individual responsibility and achievement. Millbrook develops its people so that they remain at the leading edge of their specialist fields and contribute to the development of future regulations.

“This recruitment drive and investment strengthens our position as a leading test and validation services provider in the UK, and means we can continue to support our customers as the industry continues a period of significant development,” said Arnaud Boulanger, Chief Operating Officer, Test Services of Millbrook. “Hybrid and battery technology is evolving at a staggering rate; expanding our facilities and investing in people and equipment enables us to remain at the forefront of the industry.”

In the UK, Millbrook’s test capabilities span two sites, the Bedfordshire-based proving ground and the test facility in Leyland, Lancashire.

Jonathan Newell
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