A two-story steel outbuilding built from shipping containers, this structure was designed to contain battery cells that explode when the battery is exposed to a strong gasoline fire.
This drama is set in UN ECE 100 to simulate an EV colliding with the back of an ICE vehicle, resulting in a gasoline leak and a fire under the EV. The battery should withstand the fire for 2 minutes and 10 seconds—enough for the vehicle’s occupants to exit the vehicle after impact.
In testing, the battery was subjected to 800°C heat from burning fuel pools under the battery.
During this roasting, the overheating battery cells release hydrogen and can explode in the test building, constrained by the steel walls.
Not surprisingly, the roof of this test facility has already been replaced once in four years of operation.
Millbrook is under new French ownership
Millbrook has entered a new phase of its development and is now under the ownership of UTAC and its CEO Laurent Benoit, with the aim of winning more business within a group specializing in vehicle testing, homologation, electric and autonomous technology development and 5G technology.
Benoit, a former Peugeot engineer, is now the boss of a £172m company with 1,300 employees (500 in the UK) across six test tracks and four test labs, the last two in the US, one in Germany and one in China.
“Our goal is to double the size of our business over the next four years, and we are already seeing growth, particularly in electric motors and connected vehicles,” said Benoit.
Thanks to an increased focus on electric powertrain development, the UTAC business is already split 50:50 with ICE development, with a further shift in that direction expected.
Millbrook is the most famous test track, along with the site of Leyland Truck and Test World in Finland, merged in June 2021 with the historic UTAC base in Montlhéry and CERAM (former Simca test track) near Paris, supported by £68m of French equity financing Special from Eurazeo. A new hot weather test site will open in Morocco soon.
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