Allison expands vehicle test center capabilities
By Mike Brezonick02 September 2021
Allison Transmission announced it has significantly expanded the electrification testing capabilities at its Vehicle Environmental Test Center, which will be rebranded as the Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Center (VE+ET). The center is located at the company’s campus in Indianapolis, Ind.
The branding is intended to better represent the extensive capabilities of the facility, as well as the manner in which Allison engineers, external partners and clients are leveraging the facility. Allison said he facility is the only one of its kind in the Midwest.
“Recognizing the value of this unique resource and considering Allison’s extensive knowledge of battery management and system level integration, Allison engineers, along with our OEM partners are leveraging the Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Center to facilitate electric vehicle development and validation programs,” said Branden Harbin, executive director of Global Marketing at Allison Transmission. “These engagements are an opportunity to support the continued development of fully electric propulsion solutions, as well as deepen and develop partnerships with established OEMs and new entrants.”
Opened in 2020, the 60,000 sq.-ft. VE+ET Center houses a hot soak chamber, a cold soak chamber, and two chassis dyno-equipped environmental chambers capable of simulating a broad range of duty cycles. Environmental conditions from -54º to positive 125º F, altitudes up to 18,000 ft., as well as grades and other on-road conditions can be simulated within the facility. A recently added thermal feature simulates solar radiant heat to support HVAC testing.
The two testing chambers can accommodate most commercial on-highway, off-highway and wheeled defense vehicle applications, along with automotive passenger vehicles. Testing is applicable for a wide range of propulsion systems, including conventional powertrains, alternative fuel, electric hybrid, fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
As the demand increases to test and validate larger battery electric vehicles, Allison extended the test center’s Battery Emulation capability to accommodate above 500 kW with a maximum of 900 volts dc. This allows for around the clock testing without the need to stop and recharge, resulting in more testing completed in a shorter timeframe, the company said. In addition, the Vehicle Electrification and Environmental Test Center offers commercial fast charging capabilities at 150 kW, furthering development.