MAHLE Powertrain has opened the UK’s first dedicated Real Driving Emissions (RDE) Testing Centre in Northampton, after months of development.
The £8 million RDEC facility is supplemented by two certified RDE test tracks, and is capable of simulating the entire WLTP test cycle on a 4WD chassis dynamometer, the company says.
Equipment for the facility, supplied by HORIBA includes a complete suite of emissions testing technology, comprising MEXA-ONE and CVS-ONE systems, together with a STARS-VETS test automation system to interface and execute emissions tests.
The equipment enables MAHLE to test a vehicle’s conformity to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), measuring both fuel economy and emissions values, the company has claimed.
The facility has been designed to meet the new testing requirements which mimic ‘real-life’ driving conditions, which have been brought in to make the vehicle testing process more robust.
Under the new regime, every new car model destined for UK showrooms is required to undergo the WLTP, which measures all regulated emissions, as well as CO2 and fuel economy.
New models being developed for sale in the UK also need to prove their air quality credentials by passing a brand new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test.
By 1 September 2018, all new cars on sale will have undergone WLTP testing and by 1 September 2019, all will have undergone the full RDE testing process for both NOx and PN.
Commenting on the opening of the facility Dr. Jörg Stratmann, chief executive of the MAHLE Group, said: “We are thus consolidating MAHLE Powertrain’s position as one of the leading development service providers in the area of conventional and electrified drive systems.
“The shortage of suitable test facilities is an issue of concern within the industryâ€?, added Simon Reader, Engineering Director at MAHLE Powertrain. “Thanks to our new RDE Test Centre we are taking the pressure off our customers and at the same time expanding our own capacities in order to remain one step ahead of our competitors.â€?