Mahle Powertrain, a global leader in engine development solutions, has been awarded a GB£2.1m (US$2.7m) towards the construction of a state-of-the-art climatic vehicle emissions test centre at its UK base in Northampton. The funding, provided by the South-East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) through the Local Growth Fund, will safeguard existing jobs while creating new opportunities for highly skilled engineers.
Development of the multi-million-pound Mahle Powertrain technology centre on St. James Mill Road is already underway, with the site expected to be completed in mid-2018. The centre of automotive excellence is part of the region’s economic plan to create a knowledge hub capable of competing on the world stage and will support the business’ drive to develop the next generation of lighter, cleaner and more efficient powertrains.
“We have worked hard with SEMLEP to secure this investment as part of an ongoing plan to expand and enhance our vehicle emissions testing capability in Northampton,” explained Dave Beecroft, director of sales and marketing at Mahle Powertrain. “This funding will allow us to grow the business and create employment opportunities by placing us at the forefront of the requirements of the new Real Driving Emissions legislation, which comes into force later this year.”
The new centre will see Mahle Powertrain, which works with vehicle manufacturers across the world, offer an even broader range of test services. From on-the-road PEMS (portable emissions measurement system) through to dyno-based road simulations and comprehensive emissions testing, manufacturers will be able to complete full testing regimes in the UK, meeting stringent new air quality and environmental targets.
In addition, the centre will allow Mahle Powertrain to fully simulate the new test cycle, with the added ability to control the atmospheric pressure within the chamber, a first for the UK. Simulating altitudes of up to 5,000 metres allows insight into how engines perform in vastly different environments, meaning results are much more comprehensive.