UL Solutions officially began construction of its North America Advanced Battery Laboratory in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Located near the center of the United States (U.S.) automotive industry, the facility will help enable electric vehicle (EV) and industrial battery original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their suppliers with shorter development cycles, faster time-to-market and the ability to be more competitive in the global marketplace.
UL Solutions commemorated the milestone on June 5, at the site of its future laboratory in Auburn Hills alongside federal, state and local government officials, including:
"We are thrilled to be part of this region's innovation ecosystem, where we will sit side-by-side with the world's top OEMs, electric vehicle and industrial battery product manufacturers, and high-tech companies focusing on the future of mobility and electrification," said Jennifer Scanlon, president and CEO, UL Solutions. "The development of our Auburn Hills laboratory demonstrates UL Solutions' commitment to operating at the forefront of the industry and applying our safety science expertise to enable technological innovation and speed to market."
"Michigan workers are the best in the world and workers like those at UL Solutions' new laboratory will be at the leading edge of our clean energy future. This investment will not only create jobs, but help solidify Michigan's position at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and mobility," said Sen. Stabenow.
"I am thrilled to join UL Solutions as they innovate the future right here in southeast Michigan. UL Solutions is doing cutting-edge work in the EV and industrial battery space which is critical to the health of our planet. Once completed, the facility will be one of the most extensive battery testing and engineering laboratories in North America and I am so proud that they have chosen to call Michigan home," said Rep. Stevens.
"UL Solutions' investment in Michigan's talented workers is more proof that our work to grow Michigan's economy, invest in our people, and build the future of cars, chips, and batteries is paying off," said Gov. Whitmer. "UL Solutions' North America Advanced Battery Laboratory will test electric vehicle batteries being built right here in Michigan so that we can safely put those batteries in Michigan-made cars and trucks and get them into garages and driveways around the world. Michigan won this investment over several other states because of our strong workforce and our leading battery and automotive manufacturers. When we invest in our people, grow economic opportunity, and equip ourselves with the right economic development tools, we win transformational projects like this one. I will continue working with anyone to create good-paying jobs, bring critical supply chains home, and win the future of mobility and electrification."
"The City of Auburn Hills, in coordination with the State of Michigan, has made new mobility, specifically the automotive and EV battery sectors, a priority driver for our economy," said Mayor McDaniel. "We are pleased to welcome UL Solutions to Auburn Hills, where their new laboratory will help North American manufacturers bring safer products to market in the U.S. and for export throughout North America."
Supply chain issues, energy independence, sustainability goals, and local innovation and manufacturing velocity are among the key factors driving an influx of public and private investment to establish the foundation of a new domestic supply chain for EV and industrial batteries. The U.S. government reported that EV suppliers and OEMs have announced $36 billion (USD) of investment.
The new laboratory will house dedicated UL Solutions experts and equipment capable of providing thermal fire propagation, electrical, mechanical abuse and environmental testing based on various UL and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, United Nations (UN) goals and initiatives, and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and OEM specifications.
UL Solutions plans to open its North America Advanced Battery Laboratory in mid-2024. When completed, the facility will be one of North America's most extensive battery testing and engineering laboratories.