Brimley, Michigan - Smithers' latest investments are taking electric vehicle testing abilities to lower temperatures as demand for EV technology continues to heat up.
The testing, consulting, information and compliance services provider increased freezer capacity at its winter testing centre in Brimley with the addition of two new Reefer trailers, Smithers said in a statement.
The trailers, which each can accommodate two large passenger vehicles or light trucks, can maintain temperatures as low at -30 °F (-34 ºC).
"Electric vehicle technology is developing very quickly, and there are still some unknowns with regard to how they function in extreme cold," said Jim Popio, Smithers VP operations, North America, materials science and engineering.
"We made this investment to help our clients deepen their understanding of how their EV technology performs at low temperatures and maintain a competitive edge in the market."
Both trailers are located at the end of a 4,500-ft., asphalt-paved two-lane roadway.
This allows clients to immediately test the impact of freezing temperatures on braking, acceleration and other driving performance characteristics immediately after the frozen vehicle is driven from the trailer.
"In addition to batteries, extreme cold can impact fluids and mechanical components within a vehicle," said Sean Connolly, general manager of the Smithers winter test centre.
"With this setup, you can quickly assess whether the vehicle is starting smoothly and all components and fluids are operating correctly. Clients can also measure low temperature properties of tires, such as flat spotting and brittleness."
To help its clients maintain testing efficiency, Smithers also added a direct-current high-speed ChargePoint Express 250 DC Fast Charging Station to the facility. The station simultaneously can charge two vehicles, delivering 75 percent battery capacity within 20 minutes.
The 800-acre Brimley testing facility features ice, snow and bare pavement testing surfaces and courses, offering OEMs and tier suppliers the opportunity to test new products and technologies against harsh winter conditions.