Mahle Powertrain has invested US$4m in a new powertrain dynamometer test cell at its Plymouth engineering center in Michigan to support hybrid and electric vehicle development. This includes testing and calibration of individual drive components through to complete driveline systems of complex four-wheel drives and high-performance light- and heavy-duty vehicles with a maximum wheelbase of 4.5m.
The facility encompasses several different capabilities to enable parallel testing of various elements. Primarily this includes ADAS technology assessments such as testing of lidar and radar sensor packs, US and European emissions testing such as RDE measurements, driveability development testing and range determination – all on one testbed.
“We are delighted to announce this latest addition to our powertrain testing facility. This investment underscores our determination to provide world-class services to our clients through the provision of state-of-the-art facilities and expertise. The new facilities will extend our unique capabilities to cover client requirements both in the US and globally and will prove an invaluable resource for light-duty and heavy-duty manufacturers alike,” said Hugh Blaxill, managing director of Mahle Powertrain USA. “Crucially, this means we are able to conduct a significant amount of development and validation work without requiring a large number of prototype vehicles to be built by the manufacturer.”
The chamber can handle up to 7,000Nm of instantaneous torque per wheel with an average torque response time of 0.5ms. The dynamometer is supported by a 623kW battery emulator, which could be expanded in capacity to more than 1MW in the future if needed. Finally, the testbed is equipped with climatic conditioning configurable from -10°C to +40°C.
Operations are scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2022. According to Mahle Powertrain, several premium automotive manufacturers have already requested time slots.