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New Michigan facility to test electric vehicle batteries for Detroit automakers

Michigan is to be the home of a $72.7 million laboratory designed to be the testing grounds for electric vehicle batteries

Michigan is to be the home of a $72.7 million laboratory designed to be the testing grounds for electric vehicle batteries.

The facility, set in Oakland country, will be operated by UL Solutions, a company specializing in testing and certifying EV batteries. Prior to selecting Michigan, locations in Indiana and Ohio were also considered. State lawmakers, who arranged a $1.6 million incentives package for the testing site, attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, June 5. Construction on the 89,000 square feet laboratory is expected to end by July 2024.

UL Solutions chose the location in part due to its proximity to Detroit, according to company officials. Its location in Oakland will give the facility convenient access to local automakers, whose need for reliable testing sites has become more urgent in recent years. While the laboratory will provide car manufacturers with the means to test performance, its focus is likely to rest on safety. UL Solutions vice president and general manager for energy and industrial automation Milan Dotlich told the Detroit Free Press that many EV batteries are not thoroughly tested before launch, with car manufacturers “hoping for the best” rather than double checking their work. However, once completed, the facility will be capable of studying car batteries in a variety of conditions, examining the risks they pose to consumers during crashes or when exposed to fire.

The creation of the testing facility underscores the auto industry’s rapidly accelerating transition to electricity. However, EV batteries pose a major obstacle to these plans. Efficiency, duration and material scarcity are challenges that are likely to keep the technology from seeing widespread adoption until resolved. But until then, automakers cannot afford to launch poorly designed products, especially at high prices, unless they wish to further alienate EV-hesitant consumers.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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