HomeTechFortescue buys UK testing site for battery and electric drive technologies

Fortescue buys UK testing site for battery and electric drive technologies


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Australian mining and green energy giant Fortescue announced this week that it has acquired a state-of-the-art test, research, and engineering facility in England, expanding its operations in the country and marking a significant step in the company’s commitment to advancing green technologies.

The newly acquired facility will allow for further expansion of Fortescue’s prototype, manufacturing, and test capabilities,

The 2,339-square-metre testing facility contains a number of test cells, a workshop, battery prototype and development area, as well as a range of test control centres.

It will be important for Fortescue as it rolls out its own battery and EV charging technology as it seeks to electrify its mining fleet, including large haul trucks and trains, and other machinery including excavators.

A 3E laboratory and spin rig which is designed to assess the functional and durability performance of a device under test made of an electrical drive unit or a gearbox. The lab is capable of accommodating machines of various sizes and layouts, including compact electric machines and inverters.

The test facility also includes an e-machine laboratory; steering laboratory; a battery laboratory capable of testing cells, modules, and battery packs; environmental and vibration laboratories; and an electro magnetic compatibility (EMC) chamber which provides a controlled environment for conducting EMC testing.

“We are excited to establish this new facility, which solidifies Fortescue’s position as a market leader in green technology,” said Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue Energy CEO.

“This is a significant step forward for the company and demonstrates our commitment to building our electrification capability within the UK.

“For our customers, this means accelerated, and enhanced support for their testing requirements, all managed in-house. Further substantial investment in test equipment and services is also planned in the short and mid-term.”

Fortescue’s new testing facility is located close to its existing battery manufacturing facility in Banbury, which was part of the 2022 acquisition of Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), an offshoot of the iconic Formula 1 team, Williams Grand Prix Engineering, which currently races in the F1 as Williams Racing.

Fortescue plans to start local recruiting efforts as the newly acquired testing facility expands to accommodate its new owner’s growing green technology operations.

Joshua S. Hill is a Melbourne-based journalist who has been writing about climate change, clean technology, and electric vehicles for over 15 years. He has been reporting on electric vehicles and clean technologies for Renew Economy and The Driven since 2012. His preferred mode of transport is his feet.

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