Renault has opened a brand new electric car test centre in the French city of Lardy during the past week, as part of the automaker's electric vehicle strategy.
The new centre will play a pivotal role in the company's development of electric vehicles and will house test facilities for both EV batteries and electric motors. With two of the company's planned four electric vehicles now on sale, the test centre forms an integral part of an investment project of „28 million into electric car technology. The first phase of the centre was completed in 2009 and it now covers an area of 3,300 square metres and has more than 100 test benches.
Renault has recently released its Fluence ZE and Kangoo Van ZE electric vehicles. The Twizy ZE and the ZOE ZE will be ready for the market within the next 12 months. The development of these highly advanced vehicles has required extensive testing. The safety, performance and durability of all components, including the battery, power electronics and electric motor, had to be thoroughly tested.
The new centre at Lardy will run a range of 15 different tests to make sure lithium-ion batteries can withstand the most extreme of conditions. During these 'abuse tests', the batteries are subjected to fire, short-circuiting, accidental damage and even immersion.
During the next 12 months nearly 100 of these tests will be carried out, while additional tests will be carried out using the facilities of partner companies.
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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