Overcoming obstacles to the large-scale spread of electric vehicles
Battery safety, vehicle approval, roadworthiness testing, high-voltage electrical safety training – at eCarTec 2013, to take place in Munich from 15 to 17 October, TÜV SÜD will showcase its entire portfolio of services in the field of electromobility. TÜV SÜD's stand at the 5th international trade fair for electric and hybrid mobility (Hall A5, Stand 520) centres on the further expansion of its global network of battery testing laboratories and the harmonisation of global battery safety regulations. In his keynote address at the 5th International Conference for Electric and Hybrid Mobility, Volker Blandow, Global Head of E-Mobility at TÜV SÜD, will speak on these issues.
"Connecting mobility markets" is the motto of eCarTec 2013, and TÜV SÜD and its global network of battery testing laboratories once again show us how this is done. Components of electric vehicles, and traction batteries in particular, are international products. By maintaining battery test centres in various countries, including the USA, Canada, Singapore, Korea and Shanghai, and a central office in Garching near Munich, TÜV SÜD's experts can support clients locally in all issues related to the testing and certification of batteries. Using its international testing experience as a starting-point, TÜV SÜD proactively promotes the establishment of uniform global safety standards and test methods for energy storage systems of electric vehicles. Volker Blandow, Global Head of e-Mobility at TÜV SÜD, says, "Testing batteries by applying the same reproducible methods and standardised processes around the world is one of the key goals of TÜV SÜD's activities in this field. To reach this goal, we have focused on a global approach and worked closely with the worlds of science and research, such as Munich Technical University, right from the start."
Focus area: battery safety standards
To date, there are still countless methods for testing the batteries in electric vehicles (traction batteries), and to make matters even more complicated, these methods refer to the most varied battery types, from simple cells to modules and complete battery systems. Standardised test criteria and test methods mean faster time-to-market for battery manufacturers and automotive companies, and ensure consistent quality – and thus high-grade products – for customers.
As far as vehicle approval is concerned, global battery regulations will mean more safety, but also stricter battery testing in the future. The UN ECE R100 regulation, for example, requires very strict abuse tests of complete battery systems, simulated vehicle fires and mechanical deformation of the battery. Many countries, including the People's Republic of China, have already started to transpose the requirements of the UN ECE R 100 into their national approval regulations. "We are also advocating for the UN ECE R 100 to become the global battery safety standard in US committees and other bodies", emphasises Blandow.
Focus area: roadworthiness testing
Electric vehicles are ready to go into mass production – this was the clear message delivered by OEMs at this year's IAA in Frankfurt. The rapid large-scale spread of electric and hybrid vehicles has brought in its wake not only new legal requirements and legislation, but also new questions related to electromobility. For example, which aspects will have to be covered by future periodic roadworthiness inspections of vehicles with high-voltage powertrains? On behalf of the Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen, BASt) and under the lead management of Fahrzeugsystemdaten GmbH (FSD), TÜV SÜD and other testing and inspection organisations and their partners inspected over 2,500 electric vehicles throughout Germany to provide an answer to this question. This field test focused on parts of the high-voltage system in the vehicle and all systems that influenced vehicle function, such as the regenerative braking system. As one of the largest TÜV organisations involved in periodic vehicle inspection with far-reaching experience in electromobility, TÜV SÜD made a major contribution to this project. Publication of the result of the overall project, which was completed in June 2013, is currently in preparation at the BASt.
As one of the supporters of future electromobility, TÜV SÜD is of course on board as a partner in all four "showcase regions" (Baden-Wuerttemberg, Berlin-Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Bavaria-Saxony).
One of the highlights this autumn concerns the handover of nine mass-produced electric vehicles to three social service centres in Berlin this November. TÜV SÜD and its partners have launched this project to obtain specific information about possible improvements in areas including the charging infrastructure and vehicle operation in everyday use. Models tested in the project are the eSmart, Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf and Vito E-Cell.
Focus area: Qualification
Offering a training scheme customised to automotive manufacturers and repair shops, TÜV SÜD also ensures safe production, repair and servicing of e-vehicles. The seminars offered by TÜV SÜD Akademie cover all types of work performed on live and non-live high-voltage systems.
The eCarTec Awards in various categories will be presented at the congress. Martin Altepost, TÜV SÜD Automotive, sits on both the jury and the trade fair committee.