- New “Daimler R&D Tech Center China” officially opened
- Investment of 1.1 billion RMB to capture major technological trends and accelerate localization of Mercedes-Benz products, including electric vehicles
- Fully-fledged R&D center with around 1,000 engineers combines engineering and testing power under one roof
- New testing building features seven state-of-the-art testing facilities including a dedicated eDrive lab and a charging lab
- Smart building concept enables future technology investments and capacity upgrades
- Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG; responsible for Greater China: “Over the years we have continuously expanded our presence in the market, including in research and development, local production and procurement. With the Daimler R&D Tech Center China we are opening a new chapter in our commitment of ‘Growing in China, with China’”.
Today, Daimler officially started operations of its new “R&D Tech Center China” in Beijing. With an investment of 1.1 billion RMB, the company is further strengthening its R&D footprint and technological capabilities in the world’s biggest car market. The fully-fledged R&D center focuses on major technological trends, tailor-made innovation and significantly accelerating Daimler’s local product development.
Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG; responsible for Greater China: “This year marks the 20th anniversary of Daimler Greater China Ltd. in Beijing. Over the years we have continuously expanded our presence in the market, including in research and development, local production and procurement. With the Daimler R&D Tech Center China we are opening a new chapter in our commitment of ‘Growing in China, with China’. It will enable an even sharper focus on customer requirements in our biggest market and accelerate the localization of new models, including electric vehicles. In the future, I expect our R&D activities in China to grow even further, fostering local innovation and contributing to our global success.”
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO: “Mercedes Benz will go from “electric first” to “electric only”. This requires accelerating our R&D efforts, additional investments into battery electric vehicles, and advancing our EV portfolio plan. When it comes to digitization, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, cutting-edge computing, our R&D team in China plays an increasingly important role for us. This goes for technology development, but also for technology sourcing, especially with regard to New Energy Vehicles (NEVs).”
Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Engel, Senior Executive Vice President of Daimler Greater China Ltd.; Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars R&D, Program Management, Procurement & Supplier Quality China: “Our new R&D Tech Center China brings our technological capabilities to a new level. It also enables us to significantly increase speed and efficiency of our R&D activities. Future products from Mercedes-Benz can be comprehensively engineered, tested and verified long before they hit the road. Our new R&D hub facilitates innovation by combining engineering and testing within a modern and agile campus environment.”
Under one roof: Engineers from various disciplines come together in unique R&D campus concept
For the first time in China, Daimler is bundling different disciplines like research, engineering, simulation and testing under one roof. Around 1,000 engineers will benefit from intensive exchange and expertise sharing. The new “R&D Tech Center China” has a gross floor area of 55,000 m2 and integrates an office building as well as a test building with state-of-the-art testing facilities, a workshop, a warehouse and testing-car parking lots. At the core of the campus are its inspection, testing and validation facilities for hardware and software, which integrate all essential functions. The proximity of engineering and testing will help to speed up processes significantly.
With its unique container concept, the new test building is pro-actively designed to lead the transformation in the automotive industry. The concept enables future technology investments and capacity upgrades.
Attention to Detail: Ensuring Mercedes-Benz typical vehicle characteristics and quality
The test building is home to seven state-of-the-art testing facilities including an eDrive lab, a charging lab, a volatile organic compounds (VOC) lab, a chassis lab, a noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) lab, an engine lab as well as an environmental lab. The new test building can accommodate more than 300 test vehicles at the same time.
Mercedes-Benz testing requirements are extremely diverse to ensure Mercedes typical vehicle characters and quality, such as ride and handling, noise comfort or durability. The new test building ensures consistency and reproducibility of testing processes throughout the year and in line with global Mercedes-Benz standards.
Testing of next-generation electric cars under the most realistic conditions
- The eDrive lab is equipped with two test chambers that can simulate a temperature range of -30˚C to +50˚C. The two sets of 4-wheel dynamometers can test whole electric vehicles, components or real battery pack tests. By adjusting the roller force and using big data applications, the intelligent test bench can simulate real driving conditions like air resistance or different topographies.
This allows comprehensive testing of next-generation electric vehicles at an early stage, under extreme conditions and throughout the year. The new eDrive lab also sets benchmarks in terms of sustainability and energy conservation: It is able to recuperate the energy of the tested vehicle back into the electric grid, which reduces the overall energy consumption significantly.
Aiming for superior comfort and durability in the electric age
- Excellent comfort, durability as well as ride & handling are key characteristics for every Mercedes-Benz. Mastering all disciplines of chassis development becomes even more decisive in the age of electric vehicles. The developers are equally meticulous in their approach to compensate for inner forces and stresses caused by the extra weight of the battery or an elevated driving performance.
The Tech Center China’s new chassis lab is equipped with a state-of-the-art road simulator that can simulate extremely rough road conditions. It allows 100% comparable results with other locations within the global R&D network. Based on this, the engineers in the new “R&D Tech Center China” can optimize comfort and durability for localized carlines, in particular for electric vehicles.
Built to innovate
The newly built office and test building sets the benchmark in architectural and functional standards. The design of the new office building aims to create a modern workspace that encourages creative thinking, flexible working and interdisciplinary collaboration. The ultra-modern work stations, open exchange areas, a yoga room, modern canteen and loft-like atmosphere of the building fulfill the highest expectations of a modern workplace.
The environment and architecture of the new “R&D Tech Center China” is developed with the health and wellness of employees at the center of its design. It also meets the leading international standards of the WELL Building Institute, earning WELL certification at the “PLATINUM” level. Specific daylight concepts for test benches in the test building underline the spirit of modern work. In addition, a specific cooling system for both office and test building, as well as solar panels and intelligent heat recovery measures, lead to significantly lower energy consumption of the new Tech Center.
Inspired by China, innovating in China: More than 15 years of dedication to technology and innovation leadership
Understanding and serving the needs of local customers has long become one of the most crucial success factors for Mercedes-Benz product development. For more than 15 years, Daimler has been continuously strengthening its research and development footprint in China. The company has also teamed up with local industry leaders, tech and IT players, startups as well as universities, not only to enhance its local footprint but also to strengthen its competitiveness worldwide. With a strong focus on the needs of customers in China, the “R&D Tech Center China” marks another milestone in Daimler’s strategy to explore and leverage the huge technological potential and talent of the Chinese market.