Mahle Powertrain (MPT) says it is expanding its portfolio with a specific focus on e-mobility and a total of EUR12m is to be invested in the construction of five new testing and development facilities.

"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, said. "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 says it also aims to increase its focus on the further training and retraining of its employees in these fields in particular.

New battery development centre

With the construction of a test centre for traction batteries in Northampton in 2021, the company says it 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.

In Stuttgart, 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.

In addition, Mahle Powertrain will open a second test chamber at its Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Centre in Northampton (UK) this year. It says 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.