3 reasons why eMobility infrastructure providers need thorough product testing
One of the most dominant trends in the auto manufacturing sector is the rise of electric vehicles, which are the core of what is known as eMobility. Even though oil prices are low at the moment, consumers, businesses and governments alike remember all too well when prices were sky high, and are taking steps to prepare for a future where oil prices may rise again. Additionally, growing concerns about the environment are also leading governments and companies all over the world to invest in clean technologies like EVs.
According to CleanTechnica, data from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research shows that the number of EVs registered in the U.S. reached 720,000 by the end of 2014, with 320,000 coming from last year alone. With EVs entering the market in such numbers, the infrastructure that supports them will also have to grow, and that has led to considerable market opportunities for battery, infrastructure and vehicle manufacturers.
There are numerous market requirements and regulations that manufacturers must adhere to as they develop their products and sell them to consumers and government bodies. That's why rigorous testing of each product is essential for a successful entry into the market. In this article, we'll look at three key reasons why the success of eMobility hinges on thorough product testing.
1. Batteries are the core of eMobility
In everything from electric vehicles and grid storage to renewable energy and uninterruptible backup power supplies, batteries have become an indispensable part of the move away from fossil fuels. Because these new technologies are so dependent on batteries, safety, performance and durability are of the utmost importance. Common testing areas include:
Lifecycle testing. Long battery life can be a major selling point for a battery. Testing this helps manufacturers prove their products' benefit to consumers.
Abuse testing. This simulates extreme environmental conditions, ranging from nail penetration and short-circuiting to fires and water immersion, testing the limits of the battery.
Performance testing. Efficiency is a key feature for batteries, and testing it in a laboratory will help ensure that the product meets customer requirements and industry standards.
Transport testing. Manufacturers must comply with United Nations requirements (UN 38.3) for the safe transportation of lithium batteries across national boundaries.
Subjecting batteries to these tests will help manufacturers stay ahead of the market in terms of product quality and ensure compliance with an ever-evolving set of regulations.
2. Infrastructure will be essential for the continued expansion of the EV market
eMobility isn't just about electric cars - the infrastructure that allows it to run seamlessly is equally important. Charging stations, in particular, are critical parts of the EV puzzle. For consumers to truly accept this innovation into their lives, charging station manufacturers must be able to demonstrate the safety and reliability of their offerings. The following are a few tests that will be key for OEMs in this field:
Environmental simulation. Stations will be exposed to a number of different elements and weather conditions and they must be able to withstand the worst of them. Vibration, shock climate and salt spray testing can help OEMs prove their products are safe and reliable in any environment.
Electrical safety. Charging stations are high-voltage equipment and are subject to existing municipal and state electrical safety codes. All products must be tested for compliance with standards such as IEC 61851-1:2010 and EN 61851-22 before they are brought to market.
Electromagnetic capability. All operating charging stations must fulfill regulatory EMC requirements. This is achieved through testing in accordance with EN 55014-1 and-2 and EN 610000-3-2 and-3 standards.
3. EVs are a dramatic technological shift
EVs aren't just another vehicle - they represent a complete system change that will greatly impact vehicle safety and emission standards. As the technology evolves, the standards governing its production will change as well. Working with a testing and compliance partner will be a key step for manufacturers to bring their EVs to market. Here are some common tests that EV manufacturers need to include in their product development:
eSafety. A holistic testing approach that covers all safety aspects of electrical vehicle development such as electrical, mechanical, chemical and functional safety, this is a powerful way to test components, subassemblies and systems throughout the entire development process.
ISO 26262 Functional safety. The ISO 26262 standard was published to address the increasing complexity of safety-relevant electrical and electronic systems. It covers lifecycle analyses, failure modes and risk assessments that establish the functional safety of the entire vehicle.
EVs are looking more and more like an inevitability, and if manufacturers want to carve out a solid market share, they will need to do it with safe and reliable products.
For more on how testing can benefit the eMobility industry, please see our website for more information.