Mahle invests $4 million in powertrain dyno facilities

The new four-wheel-drive powertrain dyno in Plymouth, MI. (Photo: Mahle Powertrain)

Mahle Powertrain is investing $4 million USD in a new powertrain dynamometer facility in Plymouth, Mich., aimed at accelerating electric vehicle (EV) development. The facility will be capable of providing full powertrain development support, from testing and calibration of individual drive components to the complete driveline systems of complex four-wheel-drive vehicles.

The new facility will be designed to handle the demands of even high-performance light- and heavy-duty hybrids and EVs. It will be able to handle up to 7,000 Nm of instantaneous torque per wheel with an average torque response time of 0.5ms. The dynos are supported by a 623 kW battery emulator with future expansion capacity to more than 1 MW. These features, coupled with a maximum wheelbase of 4.5m, can accommodate even high-output pickups and cargo vans, Mahle Powertrain said.

The facility will allow for Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technology assessments (including LiDAR and RADAR sensor packs), U.S. and European emissions testing capability and drivability development testing all on the same test bed. In addition, the testbed will feature climatic conditioning down to -10° C or up to +40° C.

“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.”

By enabling the early assessment of various powertrain layouts and allowing testing to be conducted before a completed chassis is available, the new facility will help manufacturers to significantly shorten the overall development cycle, the company noted.

The new test site will work alongside the existing chassis dynamometer and support all aspects of hybrid and battery-electric vehicle development. In addition to full powertrain testing and calibration work, it will enable the development of powertrain systems, the calibration of transmissions, hybrid and battery-electric powertrain configurations, Real Driving Emissions (RDE) measurements and EV range determination.

The facility is scheduled to be ready for operation in the third quarter 2022.


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