Audi opens li-ion battery competence center

May 10, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Carmaker Audi has launched an R&D center dedicated to high-voltage lithium-ion batteries. With the move the company highlights the significance of electric driving for its future strategy.

The competence center - Audi calls it a "project house" - is located near the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany. About 100 engineers and electronics experts work at the facility which covers some 3500 square meters. According to Audi, the basic concept for the competence center is to promote close collaboration between all disciplines involved in high-voltage battery technology.

Key focus areas of the high-voltage project house include design and development of proprietary hardware and software for all components of such batteries as well as development and production of batteries for Audi's R8 e-tron and Audi A1 e-tron fleet batteries. The research activities are complemented by a small pilot production line for prototypes and small-series battery types. In addition, the competence center also disposes of a high-voltage testing area. There, the company can test Hi-voltage batteries at cell, module and system level. 

"The high-voltage battery project house is a major step for us towards electric mobility," said Michael Dick, member of Audi's board of management and responsible Technical Development. Besides driving the product development, the new activity also will have to ensure that the batteries meet the company's quality requirements, he added. 

A strategic partner for Audi's drivetrain battery development is Panasonic.