Eaton-WMU Lab To Focus On Hybrid Research

Battery and hybrid electric vehicle drive testing in West Michigan will take a significant leap forward Thursday, Oct. 7, when Eaton Corp. and Western Michigan University officials meet to formally open the new CAViDS Hybrid Electric Applied Research — CHEAR — Lab in WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The new lab was announced last December, and is designed to be one of Michigan’s premier battery and hybrid electric vehicle drive testing facilities. The lab is part of WMU’s celebrated Center for Advanced Vehicle Design and Simulation — CAViDS.

The total cost for the lab’s development and first year of operation comes in at just over $1 million, with the majority of that support coming from Eaton. The new facility will provide a location where the hybrid electric drive business group at Eaton and WMU’s engineering college can collaborate to promote innovative ideas and research solutions for challenges associated with commercial and military hybrid drives. The focus on the lab will be on systems integration.

Participants in the brief ceremony will include WMU president John Dunn; Dimitri Kazarinoff, Eaton vice president and general manager, Hybrid Power Systems; Rudy Smaling, Eaton chief engineer, Hybrid Electric Powertrains; Dan Litynski, WMU vice president for research;  Tony Vizzini, WMU dean of College of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and William W. Liou, WMU CAViDS and CHEAR Lab Director.

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