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Wednesday, 09 June 2021 21:11

Volvo Group Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Vehicle Propulsion Lab in Maryland

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During a groundbreaking ceremony June 9, the Volvo Group announced a $33 million expansion of its powertrain research and development site in Hagerstown, MD, for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art Vehicle Propulsion Lab (VPL).

Volvo's VPL will be the first facility in North America to allow comprehensive testing of current and future products for Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Prevost and Volvo Bus to meet evolving government regulations and ensure high performance on the diverse North American roadways.

 

Housed under one roof, the lab will consist of two environmental chambers. One chamber will have a chassis dyno capable of emissions measurements and simulating extreme-weather and altitude conditions. The second will offer testing of fully operative vehicles, including highway and vocational trucks, as well as coach buses, for starting in a variety of weather conditions.

 

"The Hagerstown powertrain technology site plays a significant role in the Volvo Group's efforts to offer advanced transportation solutions that meet customers' needs today and down the road," said Lars Stenqvist, chief technology officer of the Volvo Group. "The all-new VPL, slated to open in the second quarter of 2023, will enable us the ability to more quickly develop and test battery-electric and hydrogen-based fuel cell solutions, as well as internal combustion engines, which will be powered by fossil-free fuels in the future, for our Class 8 trucks and coach buses." 

Additional testing features in the VPL will include:

 

  • Operating from -22 degrees F to 104 degrees F for development and verification activities
  • Wind speed simulation up to 85 mph
  • Vehicle absorbing and motoring capability up to 1600 horsepower
  • Altitude simulation up to 14,000 feet
  • Various types of performance and emissions testing for battery electric, fuel cell, hybrid, natural gas and diesel technologies
  • Capability to test highway and vocational Class 8 trucks and coach buses for North American, South American and European applications

 

"Our engineers currently rely on long-distance travel for extreme-weather testing or tap various third-party labs that specialize in specific types of testing," said Audley Brown, vice president of powertrain engineering for Volvo Group North America. "The VPL will be one of the few places in operation that offers...


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