Stuttgart — In the future, MAHLE will focus even more on its strategic future topics. In return, the technology group from Stuttgart keeps its investment volume in research and development at a high level despite the crisis.
MAHLE will further strengthen its research and development activities by expanding its global competence centers, including in Germany and China. The focus of development is on battery systems and hydrogen applications, for which MAHLE already offers numerous innovations. MAHLE is currently starting the construction of a hydrogen test infrastructure at its headquarters in Stuttgart. In the current discussion about achieving the climate targets, MAHLE CEO Jörg Stratmann is in favor of a technology-open approach:
- Group keeps R&D investments at a high level despite the crisis
- Research and development will be further strengthened by expanding global competence centers
- R&D activities focus on solutions for battery systems and hydrogen applications
- Construction of a new hydrogen test infrastructure started in Stuttgart
- MAHLE CEO Stratmann advocates a technology-open approach to achieving climate targets
“From a global perspective, there will be no one drive of the future. That is why MAHLE is continuing to work on its dual strategy: electrification, development of fuel cells and the use of hydrogen and alternative fuels in intelligently electrified combustion engines, ”said Dr. Jörg Stratmann, CEO and Chairman of the MAHLE Group Management at a press conference on Friday in Stuttgart. “The change in drive technologies is currently being driven primarily by political guidelines. The current monothematic discussion focused on one drive is not expedient. We want a dialogue on a technological basis. ”
As part of the expansion of its global R&D infrastructure, the group recently set up a new competence center for mechatronics in Kornwestheim near Stuttgart, which will coordinate all global activities in this area in the future. Also near Stuttgart, in Fellbach, a new, state-of-the-art test bench for electric drives was put into operation, one of the few of its kind in Germany. A development center for electromobility is to be completed in Suzhou, China, in December. There, MAHLE will combine its know-how from the areas of mechatronics, thermal and fluid management and work on solutions specifically for the Chinese market.
MAHLE sees an important building block in the design of CO 2 -neutral mobility in the use of hydrogen – both in fuel cells and in combustion engines. Through political initiatives and a wide variety of partnerships in the industrial sector, the group is committed to accelerating the establishment of these technologies. At MAHLE, research and development on the subject of hydrogen are bundled in a project house.
Dr. Martin Berger, Head of Central Research and Advance Development at MAHLE, presented a current project at the press conference that deals with the so-called Type 4 hydrogen tank. It consists of an inner container made of plastic and a casing made of carbon fibers. MAHLE is currently developing a new manufacturing process for this tank in order to increase its storage density and at the same time make it more cost-effective. In addition, the group is building a hydrogen infrastructure for testing fuel cells and hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines.
For faster market penetration of battery-electric mobility, MAHLE is working specifically on the subject of battery cooling. In order to be able to charge quickly, the temperature in the battery cell must be evenly distributed and must not rise too high. Berger gave an insight into another new development from MAHLE: The immersion cooling concept can shorten charging times and make batteries smaller. Martin Berger says: “Immersion cooling clears the way for a completely new generation of battery systems. This makes e-vehicles cheaper, lighter and more resource-efficient. ”