Lotus Engineering has introduced a pilot containerised battery testing facility to better understand energy storage solutions.
The project – called BattCon or Battery Containerised Test Facility – uses ‘containers’ which are essentially individual walk-in laboratories. They’ll be used at the firm’s headquarters in Hethel, Norfolk as well as the new Lotus Advanced Technology Centre in Wellesbourne, West Midlands.
Each is the same size as a regular 40-foot shipping container, so it can be packed up and transported as a mobile testing unit. The pilot uses three of these operational units.
It’ll be used by Lotus to support the launch of a range of new performance vehicles, while companies new to the EV field will be able to use the facilities – with the help of Lotus Engineering – to speed up the development of new technologies.
Matt Windle, executive director of engineering at 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.”
The facility can be used to test out various aspects of battery usage, while lifetime testing will help investigate how batteries age over time. One of the containers also features an ambient chamber, which can have its temperature raised or lowered to see how batteries react to extremes in conditions.