A new £250m (US$304m) EV test facility, the Future Energy Lab, has been opened by JLR at its engineering center in Coventry, UK.
The 323,000ft2engineering facility is developing electric drive units (EDUs) for JLR’s next generation pure electric Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar models.
The facility hosts more than £40m (US$48m) of technological innovations to enable the rapid testing of EVs, including electric test rigs, EDU manufacturing and electric vehicle systems test cells. This includes a series of extreme-weather climate chambers, capable of simulating the harshest of conditions – from -40°C up to 55°C.
As part of JLR’s £15bn (US18bn) investment to electrify its luxury brands over the next five years, the facility enables the company to sustainably scale up its next generation EVs, reducing the need to transport across other global test facilities during the development process. By increasing its capacity for testing EVs on-site, JLR is minimizing the cost of, and the emissions associated with, sending fleets of prototype cars around the world for test assessments.
More than 200 EV engineers are already working at the facility, and according to JLR, a further 150 roles will be created.
“This announcement also means that local people stand to benefit hugely – equipping them with the skills they need to succeed in this sector and the employment opportunities to match,” added Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.
Thomas Mueller, executive director of product engineering at JLR, said, “Our vehicles are, and continue to be, at the forefront of an all-electric automotive future. This facility, a core component of our Reimagine strategy, is essential to providing the advanced testing capabilities that will be vital to the performance and reliability of the modern luxury vehicles we are proudly developing.”