HORIBA to establish Evaluation and Testing Laboratories for Electric Vehicle Batteries and Fuel Cell Systems

|   Press release

Completion is scheduled for HORIBA BIWAKO E-HARBOR in May 2019

HORIBA, Ltd. (Head Office: Kyoto, Japan; hereinafter, “HORIBA”) announced today the construction of evaluation and testing laboratories for batteries and fuel cells at HORIBA BIWAKO E-HARBOR, an R&D and production site for automotive test systems and process and environmental business in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture.
Through the establishment of this new facility, HORIBA is responding to the rapid revolution we are witnessing in the mobility and power generation, including mobility electrification, autonomous driving and connected vehicles. With global players proactively investing in such technological advancements, there has been increased demand for the development of an efficient technological development process.
At the same time, the concept of “well-to-wheel” analysis is assuming increasingly greater importance when considering how to utilize energy efficiently on a global scale. Also becoming more vital are perspectives on how energy should be generated, transported, stored and utilized. It is thus imperative for society to transform itself into one that is not only energy-oriented, but also dedicated to the recycling of resources.

This is the background that formed HORIBA’s decision to invest USD 12 million into this new facility. It includes laboratories that are dedicated to research on battery cells1, modules2 as well as packs3 for electric vehicles and will be designed for R&D and evaluation. In addition, the laboratories feature testing of performance and reliability of batteries and battery management systems4, including charge-discharge cycle testing and thermal management durability evaluation under a broad range of temperature environments.

By establishing the laboratories within E-LAB, which is a development testing facility for automobiles at HORIBA BIWAKO E-HARBOR, it will become possible to conduct charge-discharge cycle testing that combines the neighboring laboratories’ evaluation of powertrains5 and vehicles, including engines and drivetrains, with evaluation of batteries and battery management systems. This new arrangement will provide HORIBA with greater flexibility for evaluation and analysis of total systems, including testing of both powertrains and vehicles. It will also include unit testing of electric vehicle batteries, which is another market expected to expand.
HORIBA will remain committed to meeting diverse customer demands in the auto industry by creating novel simulations and applications at the new laboratories.

1 The smallest unit of a battery
2 Multiple cells connected in a series
3 Multiple modules connected in a series
4 Systems that manage charging capacity and safe service conditions by monitoring electrical current, voltage, temperature, and other parameters when batteries charge and discharge
5 Devices that deliver drive power to wheels

HORIBA’s objectives in establishing the E-LAB Battery Test Cell
At its new facilities, HORIBA and the HORIBA Group will create analysis and measurement solutions that are directly linked to efficient use of energy on a global scale. In order to accelerate contributions to the development of innovative mobility, in 2015, HORIBA acquired U.K.-based vehicle engineering consultancy and testing services provider MIRA Ltd. (now HORIBA MIRA Ltd.).

By establishing the new laboratories, HORIBA aims to roll out vehicle bench evaluation technology from Japan - based on HORIBA MIRA’s electric vehicle battery development technology and engineering capabilities. The objective of this move is to become a total solutions provider that is involved in the development of key components for electric vehicles, such as batteries, powertrains, motors, and vehicle motion control, in addition to key components for conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Key functions:

  • Capable of evaluating combinations of electric vehicle batteries with powertrains and vehicles
  • Capable of conducting combined evaluation of powertrains and vehicles using a parallel power source system that amplifies fuel cells’ output characteristics
  • Realizes a broad range of temperature environment testing with a constant-temperature chamber
  • Also serves as a showroom for HORIBA’s total solutions


About the facility:

Name (tentative):

E-LAB Battery Test Cell

Location:

1-15-1, Noka, Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture

Construction:

To start in July 2018 for scheduled completion in May 2019

Start of Operation:

Scheduled for July 2019

Building area:

Total floor area of approx. 330 m2

Main equipment:

Charge-discharge system
Constant-temperature chamber
Battery heat regulator
HiLS/SiLS6
STARS7

Total construction cost:

Approx. USD 12 million

6 Automotive system development simulation
7 HORIBA’s test automation system shared platform

HORIBA BIWAKO E-HARBOR
HORIBA BIWAKO E-HARBOR