Technical centres and evolving test facilities are powering the next generation of automotive technologies

Ben Evans, Head of Business Development, FMC Auto Innovation at FMC Global Talent
Ben Evans, Head of Business Development, FMC Auto Innovation at FMC Global Talent

The EV powertrain test market demand is set to double by 2021. This has resulted in significant investments across the UK and Europe into brand new, state-of-the-art centres of excellence that will focus on helping to drive the next generation of powertrain.

Here are some of the biggest institutes investing in the area right now.

Bath University | IAAPS

Bath University’s new £70m hub is set to expand their ability to aid the automotive industry in developing ultra-low and zero emission vehicles. The facility will open in 2021 to deliver the future generations of advanced propulsion systems by undertaking research and analysis in real-world driving conditions.

IAAPS is also aiming to promote collaboration and expertise-sharing across the automotive sector to create the very best next-generation components for electrified (and driverless!) cars.

Coventry University | C-ALPS

Coventry University’s new Centre for Advanced Low Carbon Propulsion Systems is designed to be the most advanced test facility of its kind in the UK. It has the aim of creating ‘cleaner mobility’ and has received over £20m of investment.

The centre combines FEV engineers and academics with experience and knowledge in battery storage, hydrogen fuel cells and power electronics to drive research into cleaner mobility solutions and to support the development of the next generation of electric, hybrid and combustion engines.

Horiba Mira

Horiba Mira provide world-class vehicle engineering, test and development consultancy. They have delivered pioneering research programmes into areas such as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles for the past 15 years and have developed purpose build facilities to test these around the world. They also work with their customers in EV development by pioneering new facilities to test and simulate components relating to electric vehicles.

Integral Powertrain

Integral Powertrain have invested millions in their impending technical centre to support its e-Drive growth. They are investing heavily in research and development to maintain their position in the market and ‘extend the boundaries of what is possible with electric machines’.

The new technical site is sentiment to this and the growth of the company. With 8 state-of-the-art test cells for material, handling and prototype building (amongst others!) the site is set to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.


In August 2019 Intertek announced their European Centre of Excellence for high voltage EV propulsion systems testing to be based in Milton Keynes and completed in Autumn of this year. The capabilities of the centre will include motors, inverters, axels and all on-board electrical systems as well as being able to provide complete EV testing.


One of the largest and most well-known testing facilities, Millbrook provides test and validation services including propulsion, safety and tyre testing. In 2019 they invested heavily in testing facilities relating to electrification. In September their Battery Test Laboratory opened as the UK’s biggest private investment into independent battery testing. They also installed two new electric driveline test rigs in November 2019.


Investing £3million into a dedicated facility to develop new-generation alternative-fuel powertrains, Prodrive have committed to help the automotive and motorsport worlds to develop solutions as the world goes electric.  

The new Powertrain Development Centre will support the development of new electric, hybrid and ICE engines for both road and competitive applications. They can simulate to near exact running conditions to put new powertrains through their paces.

How do you think technical centres and the ever-evolving test centres will impact the automotive technology space?

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