The international expert organization DEKRA is setting up a new testing center for automotive and stationary batteries. The facility will be located at the company’s Technology Center at DEKRA Lausitzring in Brandenburg, Germany. It is an important building block in DEKRA’s strategy of offering comprehensive testing and expert services for all aspects of electromobility from a single source. The new laboratory, for which the company is investing in the double-digit million euro range, is scheduled to be fully operational by late 2024.
“The demand for testing services in relation to development, validation and certification of high-capacity battery modules and packs has sharply increased and will continue to do so”, says Fernando E. Hardasmal Barrera, Executive Vice President of DEKRA Group and Head of the Product Testing service division. “With our existing services and the new lab facility, we are aiming to address this demand and be a leading global player in e-mobility testing.” DEKRA’s product testing services – at the sites of Arnhem (the Netherlands), Klettwitz, Stuttgart (Germany), and Guangzhou (Mainland China), among others – currently include safety and EMC testing of charging infrastructure, electric motors and axles, cables, and inverters, as well as battery cells and small modules.
The new state-of-the-art test center will offer all types of battery testing under one roof. Mechanical, performance and environmental testing will be joined by abuse testing, where batteries are exposed to situations far beyond their regular use. “There is a particularly high demand for these types of tests right now,” Hardasmal explains. “Focusing on abuse testing also means, of course, that safety and security standards at the new facility will be at a maximum level.” All services will be offered during development as well as in the context of homologation, certification and quality assurance or market surveillance. “These new services enhance our DEKRA Technology Center at Lausitzring as one of the most complete and advanced testing centers for the automotive industry in the world.”
Increasing demand due to orientation of vehicle manufacturers
The target group for the services provided by the planned battery lab includes vehicle manufacturers, battery and component makers as well as engineering service providers and authorities. The increasing demand for battery testing is connected to the EU’s proposed ban on combustion engines from 2035 as well as various car manufacturers’ declared strategy to go fully electric even before then.
The fact that the new DEKRA Battery Test Center will be located at the Technology Center in Brandenburg is a strategic decision with a view to customer needs. “On our tracks at the DEKRA Lausitzring as well as in our neighboring laboratories in Klettwitz, we are already testing vehicles and components under a wide variety of issues and conditions – for precisely the customer groups that we will also be addressing in the future with of battery testing”, said Guido Kutschera, Executive Vice President of the DEKRA Group and Head of the Germany Region. “At this location we also have our newly opened test benches for electric motors and axles. The proximity of the new battery testing center will enable e-drive testing in combination with battery systems in the future.”
DEKRA has been making targeted investments in electromobility at various locations for years. The new Vehicle-Grid Innovation Laboratory (ViGIL) in California is due to open shortly. It offers functional, conformance, and interoperability testing for electric vehicle supply equipment and charging infrastructure. The company also recently inaugurated a new open-area testing facility at its Arnhem site for measuring electromagnetic compatibility on large vehicles such as electric buses or e-trucks. In 2020, a state-of-the-art laboratory for end-to-end testing of charging infrastructure was opened there. At the Technology Center in Klettwitz, the new test bench for electric motors and drive axles has been in operation since summer 2022. The powertrain and exhaust gas laboratory there is geared overall to the requirements of testing battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles.