Automobile at the charging station
Petair - Fotolia
2018-04-11 page 423 0

Mobility and charging infrastructure - Testing and Certification at the VDE Institute

The electronics in the automobile and in the charging infrastructure must work reliably without interference and furthermore be absolutely safe, of course. Battery and control management, along with the utilized plug connectors, switches and wires, must ensure vehicle safety, even during and after an accident.

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Tobias Daum
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Malfunctions could have fatal consequences for occupants and other persons involved along with rescue teams. Testing and certification by the VDE Institute ensures trouble-free mobility, irrespective of whether the engine is electric or fuel-powered. Data security and external vulnerability are also tested in the form of cyber and IT security tests in the overall system that includes the charging infrastructure, charging stations and wall boxes. At the same time, the customer also benefits from the VDE’s decades of experience, which can always introduce the latest knowledge and trends into tests through active participation in national and international standardization bodies. The VDE Institute is the most competent, first-choice point of contact both during a product’s early development phase and for final approval (validation) tests and subsequent market surveillance activities.

Testing and certifying vehicles, their components and the charging infrastructure

The electronic components integrated into every motor vehicle are both tested for their electric safety and subject to many different environmental simulation processes.

As a technical service appointed by the Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority (KBA), the VDE Institute on the one hand checks if electrical vehicles and also light electrical vehicles (LEV) and PEDELECs are safe, particularly with regard to their electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) according to UN ECE-R10. Even components (EUB = electronic sub-assemblies) of conventional vehicles are tested by the VDE Institute according to ECE-R 10 or the factory standards or delivery specifications of manufacturers and suppliers.

Standards that come into question for a conformity statement on the low-voltage and radio directive (RED) can also be used and their compliance can be verified. If no harmonized standards according to ETSI (www.etsi.org) are used for built-in radio modules or radio devices, the notified body as per Directive 2014/53/EU (RED) is available as a solution for customers. Likewise, electrical safety in vehicles and their components based on guidelines, standards and manufacturer and delivery specifications are given great importance, and they are tested as well.

Due to their decades of experience in testing electrical safety, the VDE Institute tests the charging infrastructure with their wallboxes, AC and DC charging stations, cooled high-power charging systems and charging cable assemblies (IC-CPDs), which are included with all electric vehicles. This also applies to inductive charging systems that are tested and certified in detail. According to the MID Directive (2014/32/EU), the VDE Institute is an appointed body for electricity meters that can be installed in charging stations and can therefore perform all the necessary tests and conformity evaluations.

Naturally, comprehensive testing options, even during a product’s development phase, are available to customers.

When it comes to vehicles, we test the following products, among other things

  • Actuators and modulating actuators, sensors
  • Audible signal tests according to ECE-R28
  • Cable and vehicle wires
  • Charging connectors/vehicle inlet
  • Connection technology, plug (systems)
  • Double-layer capacitors, SuperCaps, etc.
  • Electric vehicles
  • Electronic & electromechanical components/vehicle electronics
  • Fuel cells
  • Lights/indicator lights
  • Mirrors
  • Navigation and audio systems
  • On-board and off-board chargers, rectifiers and power inverters
  • Switching components, e.g. relays, switches, fuses, etc.
  • Traction batteries (li-ion) and their battery management systems (BMS)

With regard to the charging infrastructure, we test the following products, among others

We offer these and other services for testing and certification of conventional vehicles and electric vehicles

  • Acoustic measurements (class 1 reference room) incl. sound source tracking 
  • Assistance in creating the risk analysis
  • Audible signal tests according to ECE-R28
  • (Lithium-ion) batteries with/without a battery management system (BMS)
    - Safety tests, transport tests according to UN 38.3
    - Performance tests
    - Destructive tests (abuse tests)
    - Up to 1000 V/250 A (or 500 A)
  • Chemical tests
    - RoHS
    - REACH SVHC
    - PAK
    - More upon request
  • Conformity evaluation of measuring devices and additional equipment in the E-mobility application field
    - EMC, environmental and climate tests along with mechanical tests according to the requirements of measurement and calibration law
    - Quality assurance recognition audits according to module D of the Measurement and Calibration Ordinance (MessEV) and the Measuring Instruments Directive (MID)
  • e1 mark
  • Electric tests according to UN ECE-R100
  • EMC tests according to ECE-R10
  • Expertise in the product development process and design checks 
  • Functional safety 
  • Information and data safety  along with cyber and IT security tests
    - Communications devices (i.e. gateways)
    - Cloud/backend systems
    - Applications (apps)
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Obtaining country-specific certifications for charging cables, wallboxes and charging stations 
  • Research and testing worldwide market approval conditions  
  • Safety, material and environmental tests on electronic components
  • Standards advising and standards Interpretation 
  • Tests during development and environmental tests in all project stages
  • Validation and approval tests 
    - Electric safety according to product standards, delivery specifications and individual customer specifications, UN ECE-R100, UN ECE-R28
    - Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of electronic components and regarding overall

VDE - recognized partner for motor vehicles and electromobility

Electric vehicle at the charging station
Petair / Fotolia

The VDE Institute has been appointed as a category A and D technical service by the Federal Motor Vehicle Transport Authority.

Due to this appointment by the KBA, the VDE Institute can perform tests on electric vehicles for obtaining the e1 mark. They are based on the Highway Traffic Act (Straßenverkehrszulassungsordnung), the Vehicle Parts Act (Fahrzeugteileverordnung), the European Community’s guidelines and regulations along with regulations according to the Agreement of the Economic Commission for a United Nations of Europe (ECE regulations).

VDE – Conformity evaluation body for measuring devices and additional equipment in the electromobility application field

The VDE Institute is one of the few conformity assessment bodies that is recognized by the BMWi for the “Measuring devices and additional equipment in the electromobility application field” measuring device category. We support manufacturers in placing charging stations and wallboxes on the market in order to use them in the billing systems of charge point operators (CPOs) or downstream electromobility providers (EMPs) in compliance with calibration law.

Pedelecs and E-Bikes

EMC testing of a pedelec
VDE

Retailers and consumers are increasingly requiring that electric vehicles be safe to operate and pose no danger both to the driver and their environment. To ensure safety, pedelecs and e-bikes not only need to meet the mechanical requirements of a bicycle. Furthermore, electrical components must be tested for safety, from the motor and battery to the cables and wires and even the switches.

The VDE Institute offers all these tests from a single source of experts with decades of experience.

We test and certify the following product characteristics, among others:

  • Chemical tests (PAK, RoHS II, REACH, etc.)
  • Battery testing according to DIN EN 62133, UN 38.3
  • Electric safety 
  • Functional safety, risk Analysis
  • Minimum requirements for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC)
  • Production control, shipment control
  • Testing according to DIN EN 15194 (Bicycles - EPACs or electrically power assisted cycles)
  • Testing EMC and the charging device’s electrical safety

Functional safety of mobile machines

Mobile machines in this context are battery-powered motor sport devices such as e-bikes, hoverboards or even civilian drones. Since they are used in public spaces by users who mostly lack prior professional knowledge, they are subject to high safety requirements.

Functional safety tests verify that the vehicle is safe under defined conditions. They include predictable misuse, the error rates of critical parts and systematic errors in development and production. Furthermore, compliance with the CE declaration of conformity is reviewed. This ensures that the manufacturer and distributing company have performed their due diligence.

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