ABB’s E-mobility Innovation Lab has been built with investment of $10 million in the 3,600 m2 facility, based on the Delft University of Technology campus, in the Netherlands.
The new facility will drive ABB’s future portfolio development, as well as R&D projects for EVs. In 2020 the University was ranked among the top 15 engineering and technology universities in the world .
Along with an investment of $30 million into a global Center of Excellence and production site for EV charging infrastructure, due to open next year in Italy, the facility in Delft underlines ABB’s plans to grow investments in sustaining its technology leadership.
The complex, which will house up to 120 specialists, marks the return of ABB’s EV charging business to the home of its conception. Indeed, the students who founded Epyon (the EV charging start-up acquired by ABB in 2011), were former students from Delft University of Technology.
Ensuring the seamless connection between vehicles, charging stations, charging networks, and the grid, together with the software systems that support them is a key focus for ABB. The E-mobility Innovation Lab has been fitted with the latest technology to ensure that ABB chargers are compatible with all types of vehicle. Simulators have been built exactly for this purpose, with 95 percent of all tests to be conducted with a digital copy of vehicles.
To test how vehicles perform in very hot or cold weather, ABB has developed special environmental testing rooms, where solutions will be subjected to extreme conditions, including temperatures from -40 to +100 degrees Celsius and high humidity. The atrium is large enough for manufacturers to drive their cars, buses or trucks into the warm and controlled environment to conduct testing, which will help advance charging for the rapidly growing electric-heavy vehicle segment.
As part of ABB’s commitment to support a low-carbon society, it was vital to not only create a building that can advance progress in sustainable mobility, but also to create a facility that will minimize its environmental impact.
For heating and cooling, the ABB complex will be connected to the Delft University of Technology geothermal heating/cooling plant. The roof will house solar panels, with solar inverters to convert DC harvested from the sun into AC, which together with ABB’s advanced building management system for climate and light control and battery storage system, will allow testing energy to be fed back into the grid.
In November this year, ABB announced that it will increase R&D and digital spend to about 5 percent of revenues per year led by the business. This approach creates superior value for customers and drives a higher quality of revenues for the company, focusing on high-growth segments including e-mobility. Across the group, ABB has around 7,000 employees in R&D with 60 percent of them focused on developing software and digital innovations. QS World University Rankings