Volkswagen's New Battery Engineering Lab Is A Proving Ground For EV Batteries

Kevin Williams
by Kevin Williams

Volkswagen increases its electrification push, in the form of a North American battery engineering lab. The lab opened this week, in Chattanooga, Tennesse, not far from where North American VW ID.4 Production will be.

Electrification in general has been a big part of most any automaker, but VW especially has a lot of chips riding on the metaphorical EV deck. As a way to angle itself to gain more battery building expertise, this $22 million, 32,000 square foot engineering lab is meant to focus on “EV battery testing” and “high-engineering activities.” This new team of 30 engineers will put batteries through their paces, through a series of tests, many of them climate-related. Volkswagen’s installed fancy shaker tables that can mimic driving vibrations and a whole bunch of chambers that can emulate all sorts of extreme weather types. Volkswagen says that climate testing is especially important for North America, “with its climate variations, from arctic cold to desert heat.”

Still, this lab is just one of four engineering labs, including one in Germany, and two in China, all tasked with better batteries for VW products. The research completed at the American plant can also be used on other VW electrification projects. The main goal is to optimize EV batteries for safety, durability, and quality.

Volkswagen says that when the test batteries have reached the end of their service lives, the energy will be used by the building itself, and the materials will be sustainably recycled. This lab is another piece in Volkswagen’s $7.1 billion electrification push.

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Kevin Williams
Kevin Williams

Kevin has been obsessed with cars ever since he could talk. He even learned to read partially by learning and reading the makes and models on the back of cars, only fueling his obsession. Today, he is an automotive journalist and member of the Automotive Press Association. He is well-versed in electrification, hybrid cars, and vehicle maintenance.

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