MAHLE Powertrain (MPT) is expanding its portfolio with a specific focus on e-mobility. Over recent years, the development service provider headquartered in Northampton/UK has established itself as a strong partner for companies in the automotive and commercial vehicle industries and other sectors—and it is aiming for further growth in 2021. A total of EUR 12 million is to be invested in the construction of five new testing and development facilities. The MAHLE subsidiary already operates state-of-the-art equipment at locations in the UK, the USA, Germany, China, and Brazil, where it develops innovative solutions for its global customers.
“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,” Simon Reader, MAHLE Powertrain’s Director of Engineering, explained at a press conference. “We’re in an excellent position to help our customers develop their sustainable mobility solutions.”
MPT’s main activities lie in the design, simulation, and development of batteries, fuel cells, electric motors, and powertrains, transmissions, software, vehicle electronics, and control systems. That is why the MAHLE subsidiary also aims to increase its focus on the further training and retraining of its employees in these fields in particular.
New battery development center
With the construction of a test center for traction batteries in Northampton in 2021, the company will fulfil the next step of its electric powertrain strategy. The new facility will have a dedicated area for the construction of battery modules and three climatic chambers for testing complete battery packs. It will be available from this autumn for battery development and validation as well as for measuring and optimizing charging and discharging processes. MPT’s first development unit designed to test batteries under various climatic conditions went into operation in 2019.
New test rig for electric drives
In Stuttgart/Germany, MPT operates a new test rig for electric drives. This equipment is being used to develop and test e-axles and e-drive units for a wide range of electric and hybrid vehicles.
New RDE test chamber
In addition, MAHLE Powertrain will open a second test chamber at its Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Centre in Northampton/UK this year. The chamber will be ideally suited for the development and validation of electric vehicles under a wide range of climatic conditions and will be equipped with a four-wheel-drive chassis dyno and a battery emulator. It will also have all the safety features needed for testing hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Further new test facilities in Germany and the United States will focus on the development of e-bike drives and the targeted ongoing optimization of clean internal combustion engines.