Skip to main content
Battery safety lab at RISE

Safe and eco-friendly battery tests

RISE’s new test facility in Borås will affirm Sweden’s position as a leader in vehicle safety. This is where the batteries of the future will be shocked, shaken and pushed to extreme temperatures in a controlled environment.
“The safety lab is due to be inaugurated in the second half of 2023 and will be internationally unique”, says project manager Claes Winzell.

The European battery industry is growing at a rapid rate. There are plans for no fewer than fifty factories spread across sixteen countries. Annual battery cell production capacity is estimated at 2,100 GWh by 2030, enough to power more than 30 million electric vehicles.

Many companies are focused on the automotive industry – including manufacturers of utility vehicles for the shipping, rail and aviation industries – but there is also a strong focus on stationary energy storage and industrial applications, such as within forestry and mining.

A massive transition

For RISE, the new safety lab is a way to contribute expertise in the value chain for batteries. Electrification is giving rise to new battery technologies as well as new manufacturers alongside established industrial companies.

“Electrification entails a massive transition. The automotive industry hasn’t seen such a major technology shift for over a century; a shift that fundamentally alters vehicle designs. This includes cars, trucks, tractors, mining machines, construction machines, agricultural machines and even stationary machines,” says Claes Winzell.

The safety lab is one of three facilities included in the RISE and Chalmers testbed for technology and concepts within electrified transport. The lab in Borås will be focused on safety tests related to charging and discharging, vibrations, mechanical shocks, thermal runaway and fire risks.

Max Rosengren, safety and transport project manager at RISE, came up with the idea for the lab. An idea based on the actual risks affecting battery technology in the shape of overpressure leading to a state of thermal runaway with uncontrollable temperature increases, gas leakage and fire as a result.

“These are similar to the risks seen in vehicles with internal combustion engines. However, this type of testing requires premises and equipment that can handle these types of fire and overpressure risks,” Rosengren explains.

The lab is prepared for circumstances in which things go terribly wrong

An internationally unique facility

In concrete terms, the lab’s three buildings are crammed with many wonderful things for test personnel: vibrators, shaker rigs, chambers and cabinets of various sizes to simulate heating and cooling, equipment for running battery cycles and, the jewel in the crown, a test chamber measuring 130 m² with half-metre-thick concrete walls for running destructive tests.

“The safety lab is of our own invention. Say, for example, that a battery needs to be shaken in a shaker rig. There are standards for this, standards that attempt to emulate real-life conditions. If a car manufacturer were to perform the same test with charged batteries in a facility that isn’t designed for such safety-critical testing, things could go terribly wrong if a fire were to break out,” Winzell explains.

“The lab is prepared for circumstances in which things go terribly wrong. Were a battery to enter a state of thermal runaway, the lab is designed to prevent anything being destroyed.”

Both RISE experts say, quite simply, that it would not be financially viable to build such a resource for an individual company.

“In terms of performance, there’s no other facility in Sweden that can match it, with the possible exception of within the military industry,” Rosengren says.

“Customers won’t only be from the automotive industry. They could be from just about any sector, and it need not involve batteries. If you want to shock something with up to 800 kilonewtons, in a rapid and extremely powerful impact, you can do so at this facility.”

Reliable and eco-friendly

The fact that the facility is fully enclosed offers a couple of competitive advantages. On the one hand, the tests are more reliable and easier to repeat under identical conditions, and on the other hand, toxic fumes can be captured and purified using water.

Until now, the alternative has been to perform such tests outdoors. To allow untreated fumes and extinguishing water into the environment.

“Very many countries in Europe permit outdoor testing. Here, the idea is to do right by nature, and to do so in a controlled environment under conditions that are constant and repeatable,” Rosengren ends.

Claes Winzell

Contact person

Claes Winzell


+46 10 516 59 40

Read more about Claes

Contact Claes
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

* Mandatory By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.

Max Rosengren

Contact person

Max Rosengren


Read more about Max

Contact Max
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

* Mandatory By submitting the form, RISE will process your personal data.