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UL inaugurates advanced EV charging laboratory in Europe

EV Charging Test Center (Source: UL)

UL has announced that it has officially inaugurated the UL EV Charging Test Center in Frankfurt/Neu-Isenburg. Representing one of the most important EV charging testing footprints in Europe with a comprehensive range of services, the facility includes charging infrastructure components and functional safety testing and certification as well as homologation services, all in one location. Combined, the UL EV Charging Test Center adds significantly more testing capacity to the European market and empowers the electric vehicle charging industry, including EV charging and component manufacturers, infrastructure owners, and start-ups with shorter development cycles, a faster time-to-market, and the ability to be more competitive in the global marketplace, due to the facility's advanced technology testing and Central European location.

Governments around the globe are implementing policies to put more EVs on the road. For example, the European market continues to put in place European EV and EV charging equipment incentives with the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) announcing that at least 2.8 million public EV charging ports will be needed by 2030 across Europe.

"With conducive EV policies and with public acceptance and use of electric vehicles on the rise, these factors point to the increasing need to charge more vehicles, charge them faster and charge them more conveniently – placing an increased focus on battery and charging performance and safety," said Milan Dotlich, general manager and vice president of UL's Energy and Industrial Automation division. 

"UL's investment in the Frankfurt EV charging test facility demonstrates our commitment to global markets as well as new and developing standards. It also equips us to better support municipal utility infrastructure, European EV charging companies, and automotive OEMs to fast-track their project fulfillment – allowing them ultimately to quickly meet this rising demand."

The opening of the UL EV Charging Test Center allows UL to service a wide and diverse range of EV chargers and related equipment to customers across Europe looking for local as well as global market access. This includes testing facilities addressing different types of charging used around the world:

  • AC cable assembly for a regular household outlet
  • AC portable EV supply equipment with in-cable control and protection device
  • AC chargers with wall boxes and ground-mounted chargers in residential or public space
  • DC charging wall boxes and stations up to 350 kW

And commonly used Levels in the US:

  • Level 1 and Level 2 for AC charging – up to 12 kW
  • DC Level 1 and 2 (known as Level 3) for DC fast charging – up to 350 kW

In addition, the new facility offers a vehicle to grid (V2G) – up to 250kW – charging testing capabilities. V2G charging expands EVs into energy storage and distributed energy resource applications and allows EVs to integrate into the utility grid and serve as grid backup power for homes, buildings, and other uses.

Employing a team of world-class engineers with extensive technical expertise for new and innovative EV charging technologies, the facility offers EV simulators with full power capabilities for DC fast charger testing, bidirectional EV chargers, dual test bay scenarios, and servicing large commercial vehicles and ultrafast EV charging applications. The facility also provides the convenience and capability in the local area to work directly with UL throughout every step of the testing and certification process – from sending prototypes to witnessing testing and identifying construction-related compliance issues before production.

As a third-party partner with deep expertise in EV battery and charging standards in North America and internationally, UL can provide European OEMs with market access in the region.

"Many significant developments in electric vehicle charging are taking place globally and in Europe with demands from end-users and new technological solutions pushing the infrastructure to do more and do it faster than before. This evolution is leading to new and innovative thinking, especially for safety requirements," said Mirko Bautz, regional vice president for Europe Central-East and South.

"The global acceptance of the UL Mark paired with dedicated local technical expertise and technical competency means that the European market now has a comprehensive test center in Europe for safety, electrical, and compliance testing towards UL certification of innovative EV charging products and systems."

The UL EV Charging Test Center in Germany is part of UL's global network of EV testing laboratories located in China and the U.S. Collectively, these facilities have the ability, to help EV and EV charging equipment manufacturers meet product development timelines and budgets by helping reduce EV product failures and process inefficiencies and mitigating safety and performance risks throughout the entire product life cycle. Through this network, UL is also able to provide Global Market Access services for EV charging testing work in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and other emerging markets against the following regulatory standards and verifications:

  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Standards
  • EN Standards to facilitate CE declaration
  • CHAdeMO
  • Energy Star Efficiency label

The official opening was celebrated with a virtual event on May 20.UL EV charging experts were joined by AVERE - the European Association for Electromobility and other representatives from the European EV industry with presentations from PHOENIX CONTACT E-Mobility GmbH and Wallbox Chargers, hosting around 200 external attendants from the EV charging industry.

Author : Moulin Oza
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