For the first time, the Swiss-Swedish group ABB has given details of its announced research and development centre for electromobility. In the future, 120 employees are to develop new next-generation solutions for charging infrastructure.
The new “E-Mobility Innovation Lab” will be set up on the campus of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. ABB says it has invested ten million US dollars, or 8.25 million euros, in the 3,600 square metre facility. Frank Muehlon, head of ABB’s global business for infrastructure solutions for electromobility, justified the choice of location by saying that the company is “surrounded by the best technical talent and startups in the Netherlands”.
The Netherlands and ABB’s charging infrastructure division have a special relationship: when ABB made plans for charging products, the group took over the startup Epyon in 2011, which then became the division. Epyon itself was founded by former students of the TU Delft.
The building, which is connected to the TU Delft’s geothermal plant for heating and cooling, has special environmental test rooms in which the charging solutions can be exposed to extreme conditions, including temperatures from -40 to +100 degrees Celsius and high humidity. The atrium of the building will also be used to park buses and trucks for tests.
Not all of the work will take place physically: The laboratory has special simulators for compatibility tests between ABB charging products and the vehicles, and 95 per cent of all tests are to be carried out with a digital copy of vehicles. “The new lab will allow us to strengthen our collaboration with EV manufacturers to drive further performance and progress across the sector,” Muehlon said.
ABB announced the development centre in the summer when the technology group actually announced the construction of a charger plant in Italy. The plant, which will cost around 30 million dollars (26 million euros), is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2021.
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