AVL, the German auto engineering company with its North American headquarters in Plymouth, announced that it has been chosen by the Environmental Protection Agency for a critical, industry-changing initiative related to fuel economy and establishing electrification standards for hybrid and electric vehicles.
The initiative is part of the EPA’s significant investments in new and emerging testing technologies, and will result in the creation of an Integrated Battery Cycling System at the U.S. EPA National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor.
“We are proud to have been selected to partner with the EPA as it establishes new standards for the automotive industry in battery testing and automotive electrification,” said Don Manvel, AVL North America Chairman and CEO. “This important new technology will lead the way for the industry as it turns to ever-renewable sources of energy.”
President Obama’s goal to be the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 requires the establishment of standards to guide manufacturers in the production of these vehicles. Historically, technologies certified by the EPA in emissions testing have become the benchmark for the industry. It is expected the same will happen for battery testing now that the EPA is beginning to test batteries for electric vehicles.
“We will provide the EPA with a battery test system that includes vehicle-simulation capabilities that allow maneuver-based testing at the battery level,” said Phil Kingham, director of test bed systems at AVL. The result will give OEMs and battery developers guidance to help create testing scenarios they can easily replicate in line with demanding automotive applications. Added Don Wright, group product manager, “It is really gratifying to have been chosen by the EPA for this pioneering work.”
At the heart of the solution is a hardware-software battery test system for automotive-specific hybrid-electric vehicle batteries. The AVL Lynx battery test automation platform, developed by battery developers for battery developers, provides an easy-to-use interface for configuring and running tests. The AVL In-Motion real-time simulation package adds functionality to create a road-, vehicle- and driver-simulation environment that enables tests to be defined and executed at a vehicle-maneuver level. This combination of products provides a unique set of capabilities that will enable the EPA to efficiently evaluate a variety of testing standards.
“The decision by the EPA on this initiative demonstrates their willingness to look past traditional testing processes and into the future,” said Greg Hopton, president, AVL Test Systems, Inc., adding that AVL offers the EPA the added benefit of being both an equipment supplier and a partner with decades of proven powertrain engineering expertise.
Completion of the test site is expected by the end of this year.