TÜV Rheinland has opened Europe’s most state-of-the-art independent test center for electrical vehicle drive batteries at the Dutch–German Avantis business park. Covering an area of around 2,200 square meters, the laboratory is also one of the largest of its kind. The investment volume amounts to over EUR 24 million and, when fully operational, the facility will employ 25 people. The new laboratory center, which is designed for testing vehicle batteries weighing up to 800 kilograms, was opened in the presence of around one hundred guests from the worlds of business and science.
“Electromobility is an extremely dynamic field. Manufacturers are entering this booming market with more and more new models. Our goal is to not only help make electromobility safe but also to support innovations with our work at our new location in Aachen/Heerlen. After all, we have made technical safety in the interaction between people, technology and the environment our mission for 150 years now – in the past with steam engines, and now with electric vehicles,” said Dr. Michael Fübi, CEO of TÜV Rheinland AG, at the opening ceremony. Dr. Fübi is himself a member of the Expert Council for Electromobility of the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The focus of activities at the new competence center is on regulatory and manufacturer-specific testing of drive batteries for battery-electric vehicles. The new competence center is integrated in TÜV Rheinland’s network of testing centers around the globe. This means that right from the outset, the new team in Aachen can cover the entire value chain for vehicle drive batteries for the industry – from development support through to comprehensive tests and type testing.
The construction time for the test center was around 18 months in total. The battery testing laboratory is operated by TÜV Rheinland Automotive Component Testing GmbH, a cooperation with the commercial service provider ConAC from Aachen. “Innovation in electric vehicle batteries is at an all-time high, which is why independent testing capacities are so important,” said Professor Achim Kampker, head of the Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components (PEM) Chair at RWTH Aachen University, at the opening of the lab, where, among other things, in-development validation can be performed for manufacturers. “Durability and costs, material use and performance as well as range and recyclability are all key aspects of battery development. The testing services provided at the new test center contribute to not only greater technological reliability but also marketable innovations,” said Professor Kampker. He is one of the world’s leading experts in his field and also a member of the Expert Council for Electromobility of the State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The aim of the activities in the new laboratory center is to comprehensively test all common safety standards required on the market. The initial focus will be on the rapidly growing test market for vehicle drive batteries. In the future, testing services will be extended to include other storage applications.
Demand for testing services continues to grow
The market for battery testing remains highly dynamic, with the number of new battery-electric vehicle (BEV) models rising steadily. New registrations of purely electric vehicles continue to pick up, with 63,000 BEVs newly registered in Germany in 2019 and 194,000 in 2020. In 2021, the figure was already 356,000. According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), there were 878,000 new registrations of electric vehicles in the European Union. And the trend is continuing – with political encouragement and support too. According to the experts at TÜV Rheinland, the need for manufacturer-independent testing capacities for batteries will increase significantly over the coming years.
Further information available from TÜV Rheinland at www.tuv.com/batterylab.