BMW has invested $107 million in a cutting-edge battery testing facility at its Wackersdorf site in Upper Palatinate, Germany, as part of its strategy to become an electric vehicle industry leader. The facility is expected to begin operations around the middle of 2024 after it has been integrated into the current structures.
The bulk of the budget will go toward updating infrastructure and purchasing new test bench equipment. Alterations to the building’s framework, such as the laying of a new floor slab, are currently in the planning stages.
Once the facility is up and running, it will be home to numerous “battery testers.” These gadgets will measure how individual battery cells perform electrically under different conditions. Because of this, real-world scenarios can be simulated long before a prototype vehicle hits the road. The facility can test hundreds of batteries simultaneously, and that number is expected to grow to thousands once it is fully ramped up.
In 2025, when the project is set to wrap up, the facility will transform into a validation hub for BMW’s electric fleet. Specialized “shakers” will be used to subject the batteries to vibration and shock tests, among other trials. Type approval of electric vehicles is impossible without these tests, which involve simulating complex driving and charging scenarios.