Daimler opens electric vehicle development centre in China

Daimer AG has expanded its electric vehicle research and development capabilities with its China Technology Centre

Daimler AG, the owner of Mercedes-Benz, has opened its Research and Development Technology Centre in China, following its investment of RMB1.1bn (US$17mn) to construct the facility. With a floor space of 55,000 square metres, the unit incorporates an office building, a state-of-the-art testing facility, workshop, warehouse, and parking. 

The tech centre is a fully-fledged research space with around 1,000 engineers working to combine engineering advancements and testing, including an eDrive lab and a charging lab, for designing emerging electric vehicle technologies. 

Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management at Daimler AG, says, ‘This year marks the 20th anniversary of Daimler Greater China Ltd. in Beijing. Over the years we have continuously expanded our presence in the market, including in research and development, local production and procurement. With the Daimler R&D Tech Centre, China we are opening a new chapter in our commitment of ‘Growing in China, with China’. It will enable an even sharper focus on customer requirements in our biggest market and accelerate the localisation of new models, including electric vehicles. In the future, I expect our R&D activities in China to grow even further, fostering local innovation and contributing to our global success’. 

The next generation of eDrive vehicles

The new facility provides more scope for electric vehicle technology development, with two testing chambers capable of simulating temperatures from -30 to +50 degrees celsius. Each chamber is also equipped with a set of 4-wheel dynamometers that allow for complete operational testing of electric vehicles. The intelligent test bench utilises big data to create realistic simulations of driving conditions, such as air resistance or different topographies, providing comprehensive testing of new electric vehicles before they hit the road. The highly intuitive test bench can is able to return energy back to the grid, making it a renewable process. 

‘Mercedes Benz will go from “electric first” to “electric only”’, says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Chief Operating Officer of Mercedes-Benz Cars. ‘This requires accelerating our R&D efforts, additional investments into battery electric vehicles, and advancing our EV portfolio plan. When it comes to digitisation, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, cutting-edge computing, our R&D team in China plays an increasingly important role for us. This goes for technology development, but also for technology sourcing, especially with regard to New Energy Vehicles (NEVs)’. 

Doctor Hans Georg Engel, Senior Executive Vice President of Daimler Greater China Ltd.; Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars R&D, Program Management, Procurement & Supplier Quality China, says, ‘Our new R&D Tech Center China brings our technological capabilities to a new level. It also enables us to significantly increase speed and efficiency of our R&D activities. Future products from Mercedes-Benz can be comprehensively engineered, tested and verified long before they hit the road. Our new R&D hub facilitates innovation by combining engineering and testing within a modern and agile campus environment’.

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