Austrian powertrain engineering firm AVL has a new research and development facility in California dedicated to alternative fuels. AVL conducts both engineering and research work for its automaker clients as well as building test equipment for use in clients facilities. The new facility, located in Lake Forest, is focusing on working with automakers and suppliers to help with system integration of electric and hybrid drive systems. Integrating and calibrating electronics, batteries, electrical and mechanical hardware is the most time consuming aspect of developing these new vehicles.
AVL's new test bed allows all of these subsystems to be pulled together in a vehicle and evaluated in a controlled environment. The Lake Forest lab was already working with Chrysler on its ENVI electric drive program, which is behind vehicles like the Dodge Circuit EV, before fully opening.
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]