Electric VehicleTesting

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  • All about electric vehicle testing

    This page provides a general introduction for car makers (OEMs), suppliers to the automotive industry (such as manufacturers of charging station technology, batteries and components) and engineering partners who want to understand the testing and certification requirements in today’s emerging e-mobility landscape. Are you wondering why the tipping point for electric vehicles (EVs) is occurring now? Do you want to know more about the most relevant standards for testing electric vehicles and the related technological systems, such as charging stations and the electrical components? And are you keen to find out how DEKRA can help you? You can find the answers to all these questions and more here.

  • An introduction to electric vehicles

    Electric vehicles (EVs) actually first appeared in the late 19th century, but subsequently lost out to the internal combustion engine. Now, however, many decades later, the e-mobility trend is really gathering pace. So why is the tipping point occurring now? The transition to EVs is being accelerated by the convergence of three factors: tighter environmental legislation (restrictions on CO2 emissions imposed on vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners), technological advancements (e.g. cheaper and more powerful batteries, infrastructure for faster charging), and changing consumer behavior (growing environmental awareness and acceptance of EVs). This shift to EVs is forcing car manufacturers to develop new hybrid and full-electric vehicle models. In the coming years, over 300 new full-EV models are expected to be launched in Europe alone.

    Why is the topic of electric vehicle testing and certification so complex?

    To ensure safety and conformity, all current and future EV models must be tested for homologation, at both full-vehicle and component level. But in addition to the vehicles themselves, every other aspect affecting the operational safety must be tested too – and that’s why the topic of EV testing and certification is so complex. For more details of the individual aspects, see below.

  • Which aspects does electric vehicle testing cover?

    Electric vehicle testing goes way beyond homologation testing for the vehicles and their components. It also covers the charging stations – which can be based on either AC or DC technology – and the associated systems that enable EVs, charging stations and back-office systems to communicate with one another. This is known as interoperability or communication testing. Additionally, electric vehicle testing covers battery packs – which as a source of energy can be a potential hazard – and the modules they are made of, containing large numbers of battery cells. Battery cells and battery packs are each subject to different testing requirements. Last but not least, it entails the conformance testing of all electrical components such as plugs, cables, connectors, wiring and switches.

  • What are the most relevant standards for electric vehicle testing?

    From a testing and certification perspective, electric vehicles bring together two previously separate worlds: the automotive industry (ISO standards) and the electrical industry (IEC standards). Furthermore, as explained above, electric vehicle testing covers a very broad spectrum of technology and equipment, ranging from EV charging systems to battery packs and cells. As a result, a wide variety of standards could be relevant, depending on which specific aspect you are involved in, and where your sales markets are (e.g. Europe, USA, Asia, worldwide).

    The future of testing

    Besides cost, the range of electric vehicles is the main factor influencing consumer adoption. Therefore, we can expect to see continued developments in both the EV charging infrastructure and in the energy density of batteries. More powerful batteries will place greater demands on testing facilities. Meanwhile, in the fragmented charging infrastructure market, interoperability will be key to enable EVs to communicate with back-office systems as well as vehicle-to-grid systems. Furthermore, the focus is on shorter charging times. This is stimulating the emergence of high-power (DC) fast-charging stations, which potentially pose an even-greater safety hazard. All of these trends will further increase the importance of testing and certification.

    DEKRA, your partner in electric vehicle testing

    With almost a century of experience in the automotive sector and a strong heritage in electrical testing, DEKRA is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between the two. Therefore, DEKRA is the ideal partner for all aspects of testing related to electric vehicles and the associated technology – charging stations, batteries and components – as this customer case underlines. DEKRA’s services and support relating to electric vehicle testing include electrical safety testing, conformance testing, functional safety testing, EMC testing, communication protocol testing (charging stations) and cyber security testing. 

    Click here for more details about DEKRA's e-mobility expertise