Groundbreaking in Hagerstown Volvo Facility adds Vehicle Propulsion Lab


Hagerstown, Md. (WDVM) — The Volvo Truck facility in Hagerstown is welcoming another additional investment this June. On Wednesday, Volvo announced a $33 million expansion of its powertrain research and development site in Hagerstown for the construction of a new Vehicle Propulsion Lab (VPL).

VPL will be the first facility in North American to allow testing of current and future products for Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, Prevost, and Volvo Bus to meet constant-changing environment and government regulations.

The lab will consist of two environmental chambers: one will have a chassis dyno capable of emissions measurements and simulating extreme weather and altitude conditions, the second will offer testing of fully operative vehicles, including highway and vocational trucks, as well as coach buses.

The environmental testing features in VPL will include:

  • Operating from -22F to 104F for development and verification activities;
  • Wind speed simulation up to 85 mph
  • Vehicle absorbing and motoring capability up to 1600 horsepower
  • Altitude simulation up to 14,000 feet
  • Various types of performance and emissions testing for battery electric, fuel cell, hybrid, natural gas and diesel technologies
  • Capability to test highway and vocational Class 8 trucks and coach buses for North American, South American, and European applications.

According to the press release, the VPL will occupy more than 35,000 square feet. It will be two stories high and connected to the existing engine development lab on the Hagerstown facilities complex, which has been operating for 15 years. It was a $40 million investment at the time, along with an additional $12 million investment for the upgrade.

The investment means that the Volvo engineers could be able to conduct environmental and performance tests on the site instead of on the road.

Today’s announcement and groundbreaking will have addition to Hagerstown Campus which will employ about 10 more people into the existing 1,700 employees. Volvo Group is considered to be one of the largest employers in Washington County.

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