FELLBACH, Germany—Mahle GmbH has opened a new 3 million euro test facility here to develop e-axles and e-drive units for a wide range or electric and hybrid vehicles. It includes an e-axle unit consisting of two oppositely mounted load machines equipped with permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors.

“Thanks to a nominal power handling of 350 kilowatts per dynamometer and an impressive peak torque handling capacity of 8,400 newton-meters, the setup boasts formidable performance data,” claims Martin Berger, vice president of corporate research and advanced engineering at Mahle. “Separate battery simulators for applications ranging from 48 to 1,000 volts and a high-speed power analyzer system allow for performance mapping, performance characterization and efficiency studies to be carried out.”

In addition, the new facility has a high-performance thermal conditioning system that provides a temperature range from -30 to 130 C for the accurate simulation of vehicle operating conditions.

“This ensures that the drives tested in the facility will function reliably under the widest variety of climatic conditions around the world,” says Berger. “The time an e-drive spends on the test bench depends on the specific customer requirements. It ranges from around 200 hours to test individual functions through to a whole year when endurance testing is required.

“In the future, the new e-test bench will be used on behalf of international customers to carry out functional development work; simulate highly dynamic, transient modes of operation; perform efficiency measurements and torque vectoring; and simulate wheel slip scenarios,” adds Berger. “Operating map application and data population, testing of high- and low-voltage systems, and the investigation of thermal influences are also among the scope of services.”