ABB has recently announced the establishment of a new R&D center dedicated to helping expand its e-mobility portfolio and develop projects for electric vehicles (EVs). The $10 million, 3,600 m2 center is located within the Delft University of Technology campus, in the Netherlands. The facility will act as ABB’s central R&D hub for the development of EV charging hardware and software.
Facility Efficiency and Sustainability
The Global Managing Director of E-mobility Infrastructure at ABB, Frank Muelhon said that the new R&D center is unique in that it has the space to facilitate the driving of electric cars, buses, and trucks to drive efforts forward toward environmental sustainability while powering up “the EV of the future”. The facility will also be linked up to Delft university’s geothermal heating/cooling plant to help reduce the environmental impact even further. On the roof of the building, solar panels will be in place and connected to a battery storage system. Any excess electricity or energy that is used in testing will be fed back into the grid. This system set-up supports ABB’s commitment to contribute to a low-carbon society.
In ABB’s news release, Muelhon commented further: “Innovation is in our blood – ABB has led the way in EV charging and is proud to have played a key role in driving adoption rates of electric vehicles across the world. That is why we wanted to locate our E-mobility Innovation Lab in Delft, in the heart of the university campus, where we are surrounded by the brightest tech talents and start-ups in the Netherlands.”
The new facility in Delft will be home to 120 EV specialists and has been outfitted with the latest technology to enable compatibility between ABB chargers and all types of vehicles. ABB used digital twins or a digital copy of vehicles that are loaded into simulators to conduct 95% of all tests. Extreme environmental tests are also able to be undertaken on EV charging technology using a purpose-built climate chamber.
ABB’s new R&D center houses a climate-chamber for conducting extreme environmental tests on EV charging technology. Image used courtesy of ABB
Special environmental testing rooms have been developed by ABB to test vehicles in extreme hot and cold conditions. This can be beneficial for assessing functionality under extreme weather conditions or simply to test functionality in varying climate conditions found across potential markets across the globe. Solutions can be tested at temperatures from -40 to +100 degrees Celsius and at high humidity.
The Road Ahead
Going forward, ABB aims to grow and expand within the e-mobility market. Since entering the EV-charging market in 2010, the company has sold more than 17,000 ABB DC fast chargers across 80 countries. Currently, ABB is about to enter the fourth season of its partnership with the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. By 2022-23 (season 9), the company will become the official charging supplier to the championship.