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Interview: New 4WD VTEC Facility. Millbrook's John Proctor chats with Dan May.

Millbrook, a world-renowned Proving ground in the U.K., is currently working on constructing a brand new 4WD Variable Temperature Emissions Chamber. The company aims to have the system operational in the final quarter of 2021, and despite the challenges of COVID-19, the project has progressed safely.

Millbrook's Technical and Special Projects Director, John Proctor, speaks to Dan May, the Project manager behind the building up of the new facility, who provides a heads up on the progress made and what to expect.

What are the key benefits of Millbrook’s new VTEC?

"The new facility will raise the standard of our heavy-duty vehicle emissions testing. It has a high specification, therefore offering a wider range of testing, including the option to test hydrogen vehicles. This capability, in particular, is definitely exciting for the future of Millbrook."

What is the difference between the new VTEC and old VTEC facilities?

"As well as the opportunity to test a wider range of fuel types, we will be able to test vehicles with larger wheelbases and with both axles rotating instead of just the driven axle, which is significant for electric and hybrid powertrains. The inertia rating of the dynos means they have the potential to reach 3x that of the current facility. All the latest AVL emissions equipment brings it up to the specification to be a really innovative and technologically advanced facility that will help develop the next heavy-duty vehicles for on and off-road."

How much of a talking point has the new facility been with customers?

"We have already had lots of interest in the new facility. The hydrogen testing capability is definitely creating a buzz, as it is such a big jump in technology for the whole automotive and heavy-duty industry. I think it will be really exciting for both our customers and us to see it in operation. Its wide range of capabilities means it will be a brilliant facility for a variety of customers, from OEMs to petrochemical companies and all companies in between."

How have you had to adapt processes to continue the build throughout the COVID-19 pandemic?

"The coordination of the project has been a challenge, but we have always kept health and safety at the forefront of everything that we do. Lots of rules and regulations have been put in place so that the construction team can continue to work safely following all government guidance available to us. It’s definitely been an obstacle, but one that us and the construction team have managed to overcome. The whole team has worked so hard to stay on schedule, meaning the building work will be done in the next week!"

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