Volkswagen today marked the start of construction of its Battery Engineering Lab at its Chattanooga Engineering and Planning Center.
This new facility, announced earlier this year, will complement Chattanooga’s under-construction 564,000 square-foot electric vehicle production expansion and 198,000 square-foot battery pack assembly facility.
In other words, the German manufacturer will be able to develop/optimize, test and validate EV battery cells and packs on site and then locally produce battery packs and cars, starting with the Volkswagen ID.4 from 2022. Battery cells will be supplied from the SK Innovation plant in Georgia - currently under construction.
"Besides increasing its engineering capabilities in the region, the engineering lab is also part of Volkswagen’s effort to localize all aspects of vehicle development and production - which lowers production costs and development cycles."
"VW engineers will test battery components, the integration of the battery with the vehicle and look for more ways to integrate locally produced components into the production process. "
The battery lab cost about $22 million and will employ 25 engineers. According to the company, the lab will be equipped with:
- pressure and immersion testers
- corrosion chambers
- five explosion-rated climate chambers
- a custom, two-ton multi-axis shaker table, which is designed to test the integrity of vehicle components in some of the roughest conditions they might face on the road
- regenerative load cyclers that can return energy to the building or grid to be as efficient as possible.
Volkswagen's global battery facilities includes:
- Braunschweig, Germany
- Wolfsburg, Germany
- Shanghai, China
- Changchun, China
- New: Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.