Lotus Engineering is launching a pilot containerised battery testing facility to assess energy storage solutions for the booming electric car and vehicle sector. It will allow Lotus to carry out various battery cell, module and pack characterisation tests, performance evaluations, and component and lifetime testing under controlled conditions. Early feasibility study support and validation of mature designs for implementation into new vehicles will also be available.
The project has been named BattCon, an abbreviation of Battery Containerised Test Facility. The containers are individual walk-in laboratories and will be in operation at Lotus HQ in Hethel, Norfolk, as well as the new Lotus Advanced Technology Centre in Wellesbourne, West Midlands.
Each is the size of a standard 40ft (12.2m) shipping container and can easily be packed up and transported as a mobile testing unit, available to Lotus Engineering customers wherever they are. Lotus has three operational units as part of the pilot scheme.
For clients, Lotus Engineering will offer an electric vehicle safety-compliant workshop facility with specialist staff experienced in testing batteries. Companies new to the electric car and vehicle field, and those who would otherwise need to invest in additional test facilities, will have access to a fast, efficient and cost-effective solution to develop new technologies and speed up their route to market.
For Lotus, the new technology will support ambitious plans to launch a new range of performance vehicles. The company has a wealth of experience in the design and engineering of electric cars and other alternative propulsion powertrains dating back two decades. While many of the programmes remain confidential, the consultancy’s work on the Tesla Roadster (2008-12) is the best-known example.
Matt Windle, Executive Director at Engineering, Lotus, said: “As the race intensifies for automotive and other sectors to develop new and novel battery technologies, there will be increased demand for suitable testing facilities. Project BattCon begins to address this problem by evaluating how Lotus Engineering can meet the battery testing opportunities for the UK supply chain and OEMs.”