ISO 7637-4 Electrical Transients on High Voltage DC Leads

High voltage DC on Electric Vehicles (EVs) presents significant design challenges for engineers developing inverters, DC/DC supplies, and other electric powertrain components.  Enabling this EV technology are wide band gap semiconductors like Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) which switch faster and can operate at much higher voltages and currents.  The inductance associated with these systems as well as the inductance from electric motors produce Ldi/dt kickback voltages and spikes that can damage or affect components connected to HVDC lines. These transients can also couple on the low voltage bus to create issues for downstream vehicle electronics, as well as interfere with nearby radio receivers.   

To validate the performance of vehicle electronics and ensure electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), new test standards have been developed for HVDC systems.  Many of these methods are prescribed in OEM specifications, but three industry consensus standards have been released for this purpose, they are:

  • ISO 21498-2  
  • LV 123
  • ISO 7637-4

This article outlines ISO 7637-4 which addresses emissions and immunity associated with electrical transients for HVDC components. The standard covers passenger and commercial vehicles powered at voltages between 60Vdc and 1500Vdc.  It applies to battery electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and plugin hybrid electric vehicles.

The characteristics of electrical transients on the HVDC bus are complex, but two waveforms have emerged as composite transient immunity models for the EV power bus environment.  These conducted pulses are developed in a way to be accurately reproducible using commercially available test equipment. 

The first, Pulse A, is a transient burst-set of high frequency (1-10MHz) sinusoidal packets that are applied at amplitudes of up to 100Vp-p.  Pulse A represents the ringing transients caused by fast-switching SiC and GaN power MOSFETs.   

Pulse A Waveform Example

Pulse B is similarly a sinusoidal based waveform but it covers lower frequency HVDC transients.  It is applied to evaluate the effects of sinusoidal waves generated by traction motors and others system motors driven at HVDC. The Pulse B transient is also representative of the disturbance from mains power harmonics that can couple to the vehicle during charging.  

Pulse A and Pulse B severity levels, test durations, and performance classifications are listed in Annex A of ISO 7637-4, but as is the case with all industry standards the end use application of the standard is tailored to the equipment and vehicle platform, and in accordance with OEMs specifications. 

Additionally, ISO 7637-4 describes a procedure for measuring HVDC conducted transient emissions. Emissions are measured across the HV+ and HV- (line to line) and between HV+ and GND, HV- and GND (line to ground).  The key equipment for emissions testing includes a High Voltage Artificial Network (HV-AN) rated for the voltage and current, and a differential probe connected to an oscilloscope.  Plots are captured to evaluate the ON-OFF and OFF-ON transients that HV equipment produce on the HVDC lines.  Annex B of ISO 7637-4 outlines a framework for quantifying these transients for amplitude, rise-time, durations, etc. The evaluation of the transient characteristics is documented in the report but the actual limits and requirements are generally left to the end user or vehicle OEM to define.   

Elite can perform conducted immunity testing per Pulse A and Pulse B and can measure the conducted transient emissions.  Specialized equipment used at Elite for this purpose includes shielded high voltage artificial networks (HV-AN), high voltage DC power supplies and loads, along with the pulse generation equipment.  

Recently, Elite’s large 1000V/1000A HV test system arrived at its Downers Grove headquarters and awaits commissioning in the high-voltage lab. This equipment is uniquely capable of performing Pulse A and Pulse B immunity transients along with other HVDC transients such as those in ISO 21498-2 and LV123. The related ISO and LV standards include voltage variations, interrupts, and other HVDC conditions that may impact EV performance.  More information on these standards and test services is planned in our next blog.  

For information about this testing and how Elite can support your HVDC validation, contact Adam Grant at (630) 495-9770 or through our website. 

Radiofrequency Immunity Issues in Electric Vehicles — Testing Can Find That

The International Energy Agency reports that over 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) were sold in 2022, representing 14% of all new-car sales. The numbers keep climbing. In 2021 it was 9%, and in 2020 it was less than 5%. In the US alone, EV sales increased 55% in 2022.

The rapid adoption of EVs is a product of the steadily improving technology that makes EVs practical and desirable. In regular use, EVs seem to check all the boxes: zero atmospheric emissions, fewer moving parts to fail, quiet operation – a boon to personal transportation.

Like any vehicle, EVs operate in a world subject to extremes. Temperature and moisture are obviously given to extremes, but the electromagnetic (EM) environment is rich with fields and transients that can be extreme in unpredictable ways. EVs rely on complex electronics to react to the driver, interpreting signals in real time from the accelerator, brake pedal, and steering column to control the heavy currents required to operate the drive motors and mechanical systems.

Electronic vehicle control has come a long way since the early 1970s, when first-generation automotive electronics were found vulnerable to radiofrequency (RF) signals. The original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) worked with their suppliers to improve system immunity to electromagnetic interference (EMI). 

Both the technology and the understanding of EMI have greatly improved since then, but the concern is the same. Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing Specialist Stan Dolecki has been involved in testing vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) for many years and understands potential interference risks.

Elite Automotive Specialist Stan Dolecki

“Radiated and conducted immunity testing has always been done on automotive components and whole vehicles, and the concern is greater with EVs,” Stan explained. “The interfering signal can come from anywhere, including within the vehicle.” EMI can come from a steady RF field, like a broadcast signal, or it can be a transient spike like an electrostatic discharge (ESD). “One of the major sources of ESD, for example, are serpentine belts. They build up a charge and create transients that affect microprocessor circuits. Transients disrupt logic signals and cause random failures,” Stan said.

A host of automotive EMI immunity standards address the applicable RF levels and the test procedures used in verification. ISO 7637-4 is one such standard, dealing with conducted and coupled electrical disturbances, testing for low-frequency ripple in an EV’s DC supply brought on by external disturbances. Electronic components are tested under standards LV124 (for 12VDC systems) and LV148 (for 48VDC systems). Volkswagen (VW 80000) and Ford (FMC 1280) maintain their own corporate standards to test the resiliency of electronic components, as do other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

All of this demonstrates the commitment to safe and reliable operation made by the automotive industry. “EMI immunity is a huge part of the test sequence for EVs,” Stan explained. “We can’t take the risk of an engine failure or a vehicle-control failure when an unseen RF signal or transient is there. The tests we do are thorough and well-documented. The manufacturers of the vehicles and their components rely on this throughout the development process.”

A car on the dynamometer in Elite’s whole-vehicle EMC test chamber

Elite’s lab runs tests at the bench level for components like voltage converters, regulators, and charging systems, and has a whole-vehicle test chamber equipped with a dynamometer in the floor to test a vehicle running under road conditions. “Complete testing is important, from the component level on up,” Stan said.

Contact Elite for more information on RF immunity testing. Put Elite’s deep experience and well-earned industry confidence to work for you as you verify your automotive electronic components.

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More High-Power EV Testing – Only at Elite

Electric vehicles have new high voltage components and new test requirements. Elite is excited to announce that new, broader test capabilities are coming soon to Elite’s one-location campus in Downers Grove, Illinois. This new equipment will make Elite the only testing lab in North America to offer complete high-power testing to new electric vehicle (EV) components.

The rapidly evolving automotive technology calls for the latest and most complete testing capabilities. Elite is investing in the tools that offer those capabilities to its customers.

Responding to the automotive industry’s movement toward high-voltage electric vehicle (EV) modules, Elite is equipping its lab with AMETEK-CTS PowerWave 250 power sources capable of testing components connected to an EV’s high voltage (HV) bus. The PowerWave is designed to test high voltage components up to 1500 VDC, such as electric drives, batteries, and auxiliary components.

Elite’s lab will be able to provide up to 1500 VDC and 500 kVA/kW for EV high voltage component testing, along with 100% source/sink and power recovery.

Increased Vibration Testing Capacity

But that’s not all. Elite is also taking delivery on a vibration test system that further expands Elite’s industry-leading Vibration and Shock Testing lab. The IMV A74 test system has a frequency range of 0-2600 Hz at a maximum displacement of 3” peak-to-peak. With a maximum force-pound capacity of 16,500 and a 36” x 36” slip plate, the new table’s power and range makes it ideal for new automotive component testing.

Contact Elite to find out how these new tools can be put to work for your EV and its high voltage components.

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A Hot Topic — Motor Vehicle Flammability Testing

Vehicle fires are frightening events. They result in about 300 deaths annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With over 282 million vehicles registered in the US, fire safety standards and requirements are fundamental to the automotive industry. 

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 302, “Flammability of Interior Materials,” dates from 1971. Drawing from practices developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the goal is to minimize the horizontal burn rate to allow more time for a vehicle’s occupants to evacuate.

Material testing is key to this effort. Resistance to combustion and flammability is an imperative to assure the safety of components in automotive and aerospace products. Panels, wiring, subcircuits, plastics, and fabrics are just a few of the materials that make up these components.

In addition to FMVSS 302, Elite is accredited to perform flammability and burn rate tests in accordance with RTCA DO-160, and MIL-STD-202, giving us deep experience with this type of testing.

FMVSS 302 Vehicle-Interior Flammability Testing

FMVSS 302 is concerned with burn resistance of the components used in passenger vehicle occupant compartments. Components are defined to include these:

  • Seat cushions, seat backs, and head restraints
  • Seat belts
  • Headliners
  • Armrests
  • Convertible tops
  • Trim panels
  • Floor coverings
  • Visors, curtains, and shades
  • Wheel housing and engine compartment covers
  • Any other interior material

The requirements apply to any material that is within 13 mm of the interior compartment air space, which is defined as the interior space normally containing “refreshable” air. Also, any material that adheres to another material in the compartment is tested together as a composite.

Having identified the materials to be tested, a rectangular “coupon” of the material measuring 102 mm x 356 mm is provided. If the material is thicker than 13 mm, it is cut to 13 mm measured from the surface that would be closest to the vehicle’s occupant.

The sample is mounted in a U-shaped frame and placed horizontally in the center of the flame-testing chamber. A 10 mm-diameter Bunsen burner is set in the chamber, with natural gas adjusted so that the flame is 38 mm in height. The burner’s air inlet is closed when the flame height is set to ensure that only gas is feeding the flame.

The burner is positioned so that its tip is 19 mm below the center of the test sample’s open end. The sample is exposed to the flame for 15 seconds. The progress of the sample’s burn is timed, beginning when the burn reaches 38 mm from the sample’s open end, until it reaches a point 38 mm from the clamped, or far end, of the sample. If the burn stops before reaching that point, the time is recorded.

The sample’s burn rate “B” is then calculated: B = 60 x (D/T),


B = burn rate in mm/minute

D – length (mm) of the travel of the flame

T = time (seconds) for the burn to travel D mm

A sample passes the test if it has stopped burning before 60 seconds from the start of timing and has not burned more than 51 mm from the point where the burning was started.

Testing Your Component

Any fire near people is dangerous, and fires inside vehicles are especially so. These tests help provide a measure of safety to those inside a vehicle if an interior component ignites. Contact the flammability experts at Elite to find out how to prepare your material for testing.

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CE Mark, E-Mark, e-Mark – What’s the Difference?

Containers have been labeled for thousands of years. The marking of barrels, crates, and sacks were necessary in ancient times. It’s important now because we have more things to label for more reasons. The difference now is what the labels mean and how they’re applied.

Looking at the rear or the bottom of any electronic product, you’re likely to find a label containing a series of symbols. Those marks are the manufacturer’s assurance that the product has been tested to meet the applicable safety and compatibility standards. In automotive devices there are the E, e, and CE-markings that by law must appear on products in the markets where they are required.

The European Commission (EC) has established a broad array of requirements for public health and safety. The scope of those requirements is so broad that compliance with their terms is recognized by many countries outside Europe. The CE Mark (French for Conformite Europeenne) appears on products sold in the European Union (EU) to show that they meet applicable standards for health and safety. The CE Mark is necessary to market in the EU and is often sufficient for those countries outside the EU that accept those standards.

Vehicles and the Electronic Subassemblies (ESAs) used in vehicles are regulated as a separate class of products with their own unique standards. They often carry the “E” and “e” marks to show they meet their specific set of standards, as described below.




CE Mark

CE Mark used to show compliance in the EU

The CE Mark is the most familiar, appearing as it does on everything from infant toys to explosive-atmosphere equipment. For electronic and wireless devices sold in the EU, the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive (2014/30/EU) states that electronic equipment does not generate, and is not affected by, excessive electromagnetic disturbances. The Machinery Directive (2006/42/EC) is in place to protect the health and safety of those using mechanical equipment.

For EMC, specific standards in the form of European Norms (ENs) define the limits of radiated and conducted radiofrequency (RF) emissions and minimum levels of RF immunity for different categories of products. Electronic products in categories eligible to display the CE Mark must be tested to show compliance with the applicable ENs.

Elite regularly performs radiated and conducted EMC testing for CE Mark compliance and serves as a Conformity Assessment Body (CAB) authorized to assess the compliance of tested products.


Upper-case E-Mark example showing UNECE Regulation 10.5 EMC

European motor vehicle regulations are covered in Directive 2007/46/EC, spelling out requirements and the type-approval process. Some vehicle categories are exempt and are addressed by the CE Mark requirements or other directives. The framework directive also lists the vehicle systems and performance attributes that are regulated and the associated regulations that apply (for example, tail pipe emissions, safety restraints, EMC, and others).

The upper-case E-mark is displayed on vehicles and ESAs to show compliance with United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) requirements. To streamline the regulatory process, the EU automotive EMC requirements that had been separate from the UNECE are now allowed to follow the UNECE requirements. The applicable EMC requirements are currently shown in UNECE Regulation 10 and compliance is indicated by the upper-case E-Mark.


Lower-case e-Mark example with test-country number

Agricultural and forestry equipment falls under EC Regulation 167/2013, which provides definitions and high-level technical requirements. The specific application requirements are identified in the Regulation. Tractors are categorized based on their construction and capability, which determine the level of assessment required under the standard. Manufacturers can check with Elite to identify what level in the standard applies to their tractor. A test plan can then be developed appropriate to their product.

Regulation 167/2013 specifies that EMC is evaluated according to EU Regulation 2015/208, which is specific to agricultural and forestry vehicles. Compliance with those requirements is shown by the lower-case e-Mark.

Finding the Correct Marking for Your Vehicle and ESA

How do you sort out these requirements, and which ones apply to you? It’s not always obvious which standards and label marks apply. The determination is based on the vehicle or ESA’s application, which can be variable depending on the type of vehicle or device. Contact the automotive test experts at Elite to find out which tests your product needs. With that information in hand, you can start planning your tests and anticipating the successful launch of your product.

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New at Elite! Dynamometer Capability for Whole-Vehicle EMC Testing

Elite Electronic Engineering is excited to announce the installation of a new chassis dynamometer in its drive-in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) chamber, especially as applied to electric vehicle testing. The HV Technologies RP40-55/100-6-F is a free-standing dynamometer that can be used with front-wheel, rear-wheel, 4-wheel drive vehicles, as well as motorcycles.

Automotive vehicle EMC testing has become an urgent need in the automotive industry. Electric vehicle (EV) sales in the US have grown from 50,000 in Q4 2016 to 2.6 million in Q1 2022. Increasing EV complexity makes it all the more important to verify their radiofrequency (RF) emission and immunity characteristics.

Testing vehicles under running conditions gives the manufacturer a more accurate EMC picture. When on the road, the EV’s motors, controllers, regulators, and other systems are fully engaged. Higher emission levels are likely at a wider range of frequencies when those systems operate under load. Also, the risk of RF vulnerability in navigation and motor-control systems is more acute while the vehicle is in motion.

Dynamometers have been in use for many years to test internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles under load. Horsepower, fuel economy, and other parameters have long been measured as the vehicle was operated at speed on dynamometer rollers.

EVs have more EMC concerns under operating conditions because of their complex electronics. Higher voltages and higher currents in an EV’s powerful motors and associated control systems naturally generate higher RF emission levels, and the sophisticated circuitry must be immune to disruption from external RF fields. These factors make electric vehicle testing imperative.

Elite’s new dynamometer can handle axle loads of 10,000 kg at a maximum speed of 100 km/h and a rated speed of 55 km/h. Its control-system RF immunity is 200 V/m, allowing the full range of RF immunity tests to be performed without concern of corrupted data. The dynamometer and vehicle test chamber have been set up so that smaller electric vehicles can be tested in 2WD or 4WD applications. Large vehicles will be tested in 2WD applications in most cases. The dynamometer is also capable of testing motorcycles.

Automotive vehicle testing can be set up by driving the vehicle directly into the test chamber, saving time and cost. Because preparation time is minimized, each test can be completed sooner to allow time for additional configurations that may be desired.

Contact Elite to find out more about how this test tool can work for you. Elite experts can work with you on scheduling a test, creating a test plan, and putting the dynamometer to work for your vehicle.

10 Steps to Successful Auto EMC Testing: Part 3

Automotive Testing Steps 7-10

It’s all good. You began with Steps 1 – 2 and moved through Steps 3 – 6. You defined your product’s market, drafted a test plan, built and tested prototypes, and did it while in touch with the manufacturer. Now you’re in the home stretch and ready to do final validation testing. Welcome to Steps 7-10 of Elite’s Ten Steps to Successful Automotive Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Testing.

To paraphrase the philosopher and baseball great Yogi Berra, if you don’t know where you’re going you might not get there. Let’s set up the final tests because after going through the first six steps, you know where you’re going.

7. Schedule Well in Advance

At Elite, quick access to lab service is always the goal. But depending on workload, there could be a schedule backlog of multiple weeks. Be sure to contact Elite well in advance of the date the product will be ready for testing.

When you talk to the Elite team, give them your product’s requirements. They have the expertise to identify the appropriate standards and test methods and then outline the conformity assessment process.

Once a proposal is generated, Elite will schedule all services based on the required time and available lab resources. An early communication channel with Elite’s lab scheduler is the best path to the desired start and completion dates. A purchase order is usually not required to hold a scheduled test date, but one will be required to start testing.

Some regulatory tests for European Union vehicles and their sub-assemblies require an “E-marking” approval through a European Notified Body (NB). These are processed directly between the NB and the equipment manufacturer. Elite can provide contacts for NB services while working with the NB to coordinate test scheduling.

8. Prepare for Validation Testing

Ahead of the scheduled testing date, a functional system needs to be delivered to the test lab. Be sure to add time to make sure the wiring harnesses, support equipment, and other ancillary hardware are ready to begin the test. The lab will need the following items at a minimum:

  • A properly approved test plan for validation by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • Device(s) to be tested 
  • Wiring harnesses
  • Load box and support equipment to properly simulate the systems that interface with the test item
  • Laptop computer with a controller area network (CAN) bus simulator
  • Monitoring equipment
  • Instructions for operating the equipment

Some support equipment can be provided by Elite, but clients should identify their needs early so the necessary resources are ready when your tests begin. Pre-arranged equipment available through Elite includes:

  • Fiber Optic Transceivers
  • Laptop PCs, Oscilloscopes, Audio Analyzers
  • Communication Simulator (CMW500)
  • Mechanical fixturing, tooling, and test automation

9. Be Available When Testing Begins

Elite business hours are typically 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Plan to arrive shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the first scheduled test day. If special shifts or extended hours will be necessary, contact Elite at the earliest phase of the test project.

Elite clients are always welcome to be present for testing and are encouraged to attend the initial setup and first few test operations. Equipment can be shipped with setup and operating instructions, and Elite can provide remote video conferencing capabilities to save time and expenses associated with traveling to our lab.

Elite’s engineers then configure the unit for testing and run tests while monitoring the device’s performance. If the client is not present during the test, a technical support contact who can be quickly reached needs to be identified to resolve any issues. Spare test samples, if available, are also recommended.

10. Respond Quickly to Project Delays

Project delays in advance of the test starting date sometimes happen. If they do, clients need to notify Elite so the reserved lab time can be reallocated, and new start date can be set.

When problems occur during testing, Elite’s engineers work closely with the client to resolve them. This includes test-item setup complications, non-compliances, or Elite equipment faults. For cases where clients are not present during testing, the client contact needs to be available by phone or video conference for troubleshooting. In those cases, email and mobile phone contact information are needed.

Contact Elite today! Our Experts, Your Timing, Best Value

Automotive EMC testing can be a challenging process, but with the support of Elite engineers, you can rest assured that you’re working with the most knowledgeable, best equipped, and best value service provider in the industry. Contact us to get your project started on the right path.

Let us know how we can help you succeed with your product development.

Why Trust Elite?

  • 60+ years of EMC testing experience
  • 20+ automotive EMC test engineers and iNARTE organizational certification
  • 15+ years of continuous laboratory recognition from Ford, GM, and Stellantis (formerly FCA)
  • Only independent test laboratory fully recognized for all Ford, GM, Stellantis, Mazda, and Hyundai-Kia EMC test methods

Call Elite at 630-495-9770 with your questions.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) – Are Your Batteries Tested?

Everyone knows about batteries. They’re used in laptops, tablets, cellphones, toys, hoverboards, ear buds – the list is long. Cars and trucks have always had batteries for starters, ignition, and other functions, and small vehicles like golf carts are often battery-powered.

What’s new is the proliferation of electric vehicles (EVs). Chances are that if you don’t own one yourself, you know someone who does, and their numbers will keep growing as time goes on. They’re cleaner and require less maintenance than vehicles with internal-combustion engines (ICE), and economies of scale will gradually bring down their cost.

EVs have broad advantages. To realize their full value, their battery packs need to be tested for safety and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Batteries use reactive compounds to generate energy, and their supporting hardware uses voltage-regulating circuitry that generate electromagnetic interference (EMI). The bigger the battery, the more important its safety. And the higher the internal electrical levels, the more important are the EMC tests.

Standards for Battery Packs

Rechargeable batteries come in different compositions depending on their application. EV batteries are lithium-ion, while smaller batteries can be lithium-ion or nickel-cadmium. International safety and EMC standards are the foundation requirements.

  • UN 38.3, the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria Part III Subsection 38.3 paragraph 38.3.5, is the global requirement for domestic and international transportation of hazardous materials, like lithium-ion batteries. Batteries need to be certified to UN 38.3 before being allowed to ship by air, sea, rail, or roadway.
  • IEC 62281:2019Safety of primary and secondary lithium cells and batteries during transport, contains requirements and test methods to assure safe transportation for lithium-ion batteries.
  • MIL-PRF 32383/4ABattery, Rechargeable, Sealed, Lithium-Ion, BB-2525 and BB-3525, sets requirements for sealed rechargeable batteries designed for use in US military portable devices. Tests include conformability, over-flex, immersion, and nail penetration.
  • UL 1642Lithium Batteries, is a safety standard describing tests and characterization of lithium-ion batteries, especially those defined as user-replaceable. UL 1642 covers safety performance when operating in a product and is non-compulsory in the US.
  • UL 62133Secondary Cells and Batteries Containing Alkaline or Other Non-Acid Electrolytes – Safety Requirements for Portable Sealed Secondary Cells, and for Batteries Made From Them, for Use in Portable Applications, is the safety standard for batteries made with alkaline or other non-acid electrolytes. Because of alkaline batteries’ widespread use, UL 62133 is the de facto standard for international compliance.
  • SAE J2464Electric and Hybrid Electric Vehicle Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) Safety and Abuse Testing, is the recommended practice for testing rechargeable systems to conditions beyond their normal operating range.
  • MIL-PRF-32565Performance Specification Battery, Rechargeable, Sealed, 6T Lithium-Ion, is the performance and safety standard for 6T form-factor lithium-ion batteries.

Battery Testing at Elite

Rechargeable batteries are typically used in applications where long life and safe operation are at a premium.  The environmental stress tests called for in the standards listed above fall into several areas of Elite’s expertise, as shown in the table to the right:

A wide variety of tests performed at Elite come under these rules, along with other specific requirements for certain manufacturers or battery applications.

  • Temperature Exposure, in which the batteries are placed in a temperature-extreme environment while under operating conditions defined in the applicable standard.
  • Thermal Runaway, which is a top-of-mind concern among battery manufacturers. Elite’s thermal imaging camera allows precise tracking of the battery’s thermal condition.
  • Ingress Protection (IP), from levels IP1 to IP9, depending on the battery’s size.
  • Altitude Testing, in which the battery is placed in a chamber and subjected to varying levels of air pressure to simulate high-altitude conditions. The operating condition of the battery during the test is specified the applicable standard.
  • Vibration & Shock Testing: EV battery packs, along with other industrial-application rechargeable batteries, endure almost continuous vibration and mechanical shock in actual use. The standards listed above, along with specific manufacturer requirements, define the operating conditions and vibration levels applicable to the battery type.
  • Overvoltage, Short Circuit, and Overcharge Testing: Electrical malfunctions are an obvious risk to an electrical-storage system. Tests have defined that subject the batteries to short circuits, over-charging, and over-voltage levels, checking for hazards during the tests.
  • Specialized Testing: crush, nail penetration, immersion, projectile – these are among the specialized tests often required by a vehicle manufacturer or other OEM. The goal in each test is safety under conditions of abuse.

EMC Standards Applicable to Battery Packs

EV battery packs and their associated hardware need to meet electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) requirements, both because of the risk of EM emissions and the potential vulnerability of the control circuitry to ambient EM fields and transients.

The applicable standards can vary depending on the application of the battery pack and the specific vehicle manufacturer’s requirements, but several broad standards are likely to apply:

  • The EU CE Mark requirements, covering both emissions and immunity to EM fields, electrostatic discharge (ESD), radiated and conducted immunity.
  • MIL-STD-461, covering many of the same phenomena as the CE Mark requirements, with some additional test features.
  • The SAE series of EMC standards, covering EM field phenomena, along with AC power line electric field immunity.

Especially in the automotive industry, individual manufacturers are likely to have their own specifications and test procedures in addition to the baseline regulatory standards.

Contact Elite to discuss which standards and type of test is best suited to meet your product’s needs.

Planning a Battery-Pack EMC Test

As described in Elite’s blog series, Ten Steps to a Successful Vehicle EMC Test, the first steps are to identify the product’s intended markets and the standards that apply. The foundational standards will be CISPR 12 and CISPR 25, covering radiated and conducted EMI, along with UN 38.3 for transporting and shipping lithium-ion batteries

Elite has decades of experience testing various forms of battery packs. John Gondek has been among Elite’s battery-test engineers and now serves as a customer interface to plan the tests and answer questions that arise. John has developed a series of items to be observed when planning and executing a battery test:

  • Remember: safety first. The object of tests performed under these standards is to ensure safe operation of what can be a combustible device. Always respect batteries when during transport and during a test.
  • Define how the battery samples are to be transported. Check with your courier on any shipping restrictions or handling requirements. How are they being prepared for shipment? What charge state are they in? These questions are fundamental to the batteries’ safe handling and shipping.
  • Provide details on battery chemistry, pack design, number of cells, and information on protective circuits. 
  • Provide wiring diagrams and pin connection details.
  • Define the battery state during the test. For a meaningful test, the battery needs to be in a proper state of charge, both for testing and charge cycling. Clients should provide specifications and tolerances for all relevant performance metrics.
  • Monitor battery performance. During the test, the battery needs to be monitored for its pass/fail state. Parameters such as voltage levels, cycle time, and changes in its mass need to be observed and noted for changes that could be regarded as failures.

Elite’s Emerging Battery-Test Capabilities

To answer the needs of the EV industry, Elite is adding new services and equipment that meet the growing demand and the evolving standards. One example is the 28,000-pound vibration table with a 5’ x 5’ slip table surface now in place, providing a mechanical testing resource to handle larger battery packs.  Watch for more details in a future blog.

And stay tuned for more on our upcoming battery-testing chamber that will provide the means to meet the evolving test standards.   

The remarkable growth of electric vehicles has brought the need for battery testing into sharp focus. Contact Elite’s experts to start planning your tests and get answers to your questions. Elite’s deep expertise, reputation for timeliness, and trusted results will help you reach your market with confidence.

Testing EV Charging Systems

Testing what’s under the hood

A whole vehicle – car, truck, tractor, whatever – can be EMC tested. As described in Elite’s previous blog on whole-vehicle EMC testing, electric vehicles (EVs) can be tested for radiofrequency (RF) emissions and immunity in a drive-in test chamber. Requirements set by the manufacturers and those set by regulatory bodies are used to determine if an assembled vehicle meets the specs for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).

But vehicles are complex machines full of widely varying systems and components, and each of those is complex. Systems for battery and charging control, motor-drive, and driver interface, among others, are often provided by subcontractors to the vehicle’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Each of those systems has its own requirements they need to meet.

On-Board Charging Systems

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has defined standards that include EMC. It’s clear that minimizing interference among the vehicle’s electronics is needed to assure safe operation. But also important are RF emissions and immunity outside the vehicle. The electronics inside produce effects on the outside.

Running EMC tests on internal systems outside the vehicle requires fixtures and support that simulate operating conditions. The onboard charger is an AC-to-DC converter in the vehicle that connects with an external cable to an AC mains outlet. There are two charging levels used by on-board chargers:

Level 1 — The standard 120-volt AC mains outlet used in North America. Level 1 does not require a special installation but charges more slowly.

Level 2 — The 240-volt mains outlet, is typically found in dedicated charging stations and as separate installations in residential buildings. Level 2 charges faster, due to the higher voltage and typically higher current capacity.

The high-speed switching inside the AC-to-DC converter generates significant electromagnetic interference (EMI), owing to the high currents required. More current means more energy, which translates into the challenge of more EMI.

The Applicable Standards

Vehicle OEMs usually have very specific EMC requirements of their own that are based on industry practices. The broad vehicle EMC requirements are set up in Regulation 10 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE Reg 10), which defines vehicle EMC requirements. Part of that covers on-board charging systems, and Regulation 10 refers to two standards for direction on testing:

• IEC 61000-6-1, “Generic standards – Immunity standard for residential, commercial and light-industrial environments”

• IEC 61000-6-3, “Generic standards – Emission standard for equipment in residential environments”


IEC 61000-6-1 specifies that the equipment under test (EUT) “continue to operate as intended during and after the test,” which simply means there are no system failures when the EUT is subjected to the specified RF field. Test procedures for each configuration of the charging system are referred to standards relating to specific phenomena:

  • Electrostatic Discharge (ESD): IEC 61000-4-2
  • RF fields: IEC 61000-4-3
  • Electrical fast transients: IEC 61000-4-4
  • Surge: IEC 61000-4-5
  • Conducted Disturbances: IEC 61000-4-6
  • Magnetic fields: IEC 61000-4-8
  • And more

These are fundamental standards spelling out the steps to be followed for each of these immunity aspects. The test severity levels that specify voltage levels and failure-criteria specifics are set by the manufacturer. Those details are given in the test plan agreed upon between the manufacturer and the test lab.

As the list above suggests, immunity covers more than just radio noise. Effects of surges, ESD, and transients all must be taken into consideration. The increasing complexity of vehicle control systems makes careful testing, not an option, but an imperative.  


IEC 61000-6-3 specifies that RF emissions (both radiated and conducted) from the EUT must be limited to acceptable levels. As with the immunity requirement, applicable basic standards are referenced:

  • CISPR 16-1 for test site and equipment
  • CISPR 16-2 for test methods

For testing in a semi-anechoic chamber, IEC 61000-6-3 sets these radiated emission limits:

Frequency RangeLimit @10m
30-230 MHz30 dB(µV/m) quasi-peak
230-1000 MHz37 dB(µV/m) quasi-peak
Frequency RangeLimit @3m
1000-3000 MHz70 dB(µV/m) peak,50 dB(µV/m) avg
3000-6000 MHz74 dB(µV/m) peak,54 dB(µV/m) avg

The standard allows measurements to be done at 3 m, 5 m, 10 m, or 30 m.  Adjustments in the limits for different antenna distances are made based on the CISPR measurement standards. Development testing of prototype devices are done to identify emission sources. Final verification and compliance testing is done to confirm that the assembled system is within the emission limits set in the standard.

Final Product Requirements

EMC testing is fundamental to all electronic devices and is especially so in EV systems. The higher energy levels in EV charging systems increase the risk of disruptive RF interference, which can have a direct effect on vehicle safety. These devices and the systems they comprise need to demonstrate both minimal RF emissions and immunity to external interference threats.

The goal in both cases is to minimize risk to an electric vehicle’s highly integrated electronics, as well as to other nearby electronic devices.

EMC testing is part of a suite of tests EV manufacturers and their suppliers need to be aware of. Contact the experts at Elite to determine which tests apply to your device, system, or vehicle. The future is now for EVs, and Elite is there to offer the testing support you need.

10 Steps to Successful Auto EMC Testing: Part 2

Last Month, we started our engine with the first two steps.

Continue the journey with Steps 3 thru 6

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Elite Electronic Engineering’s Ten Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing shows how to prepare to run an electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) automotive EMC test. Automotive tests can appear daunting, but preparation improves the chance of success. 

Step 1 and Step 2 were highlighted in last month’s Elite blog, talking about defining your target market and developing a test plan. Those steps are fundamental and need to be considered at the beginning of a product’s development.

In this entry, Steps 3 through 6 are described, taking you through the development’s progress from specification-setting and on through design and prototype evaluation. These steps may seem obvious at first glance but sometimes are overlooked when obstacles come up.

Next month’s Elite blog will cover steps seven through ten, all about preparing your project to fully prepare. Ben Franklin would be proud.

Step 3: Specify Function & Expected Performance

With a test plan in place, you have the project’s outline that considers the product’s operating modes and user configurations. The test outline is influenced by whether it’s a safety-critical or a convenience item.

In an immunity test, a convenience item may be allowed to respond if it returns to normal operation after the tested threat is removed. The test levels for a convenience item are usually less severe since they do not affect the vehicle’s safe operation.

In contrast, a safety-critical item in an immunity test is typically subjected to levels higher than those applied to a convenience item. Those devices need to function normally without upset when subjected to a tested threat.

Step 4: Design for Compatibility

The object of EMC and electrical testing is to confirm proper operation in the presence of interference, whether from itself or other nearby devices. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) takes different forms that cause responses in different ways.

An OEM’s corporate EMC requirements are the benchmarks for testing and performance. Regulatory requirements that are government imposed, such as CISPR 12, are key for aftermarket devices. Those rules stipulate emissions limits to protect communications and to assure safe operation of vulnerable electronics. An example is CISPR 25, which sets requirements protecting on-board receivers.

For electric vehicles, CISPR 22 may apply for emissions through the AC mains connection. The subassemblies involved in safe operation are also tested for electrostatic discharge (ESD) immunity, radiated transients, and conducted bursts.

Step 5: Confirm Design with Development Testing

Tests performed during development typically cover only a subset of emissions and immunity. Those are often enough to give confidence in the product design. Elite’s experts can recommend the applicability of specific tests.

The same EMC test lab should be used for both development and validation testing where possible. Running the same tests in the same lab assures product familiarity and may save travel costs for the later validation tests. Since the lab will use the same test methods for both sets of tests, surprises are minimized in the validation tests.

Development tests done at the supplier’s in-house lab needs to correlate the with the lab doing the validation tests. Elite’s experts can help identify those correlations.

Step 6: Communicate with the End User

Murphy’s law is hard to avoid. When issues occur during the test, they should be shared with the vehicle OEM. Often the OEM will work with the supplier to mitigate the issue, or they may choose to accept results based on analysis, test conditions, or other circumstances.

The OEM’s interest is in valid data that gives the most accurate picture of the vehicle’s compliance and safety. The OEM often has EMC experts on staff who can work toward a solution.

Project success is more likely if the OEM customer is involved during the design process, including the planning and execution of the EMC tests. There is no substitute for open communication between the supplier and the OEM. A successful program is much more likely if everyone is informed and involved.

Contact Elite for more information and to schedule your product’s Automotive EMC testing.

Coming up in Part 3 next month: Steps 7 through Step 10 – Planning and running a successful validation test.

Learn more in Step 1 through Step 2 from Elite’s e-book, “10 Steps to Successful Auto EMC Testing

Craig Fanning Explains CISPR 12/25 Radiated Emissions Testing

It’s no secret that every generation of motor vehicles is more reliant on electronics for safe and economical operation. Collision avoidance and automatic parallel parking are examples of the high-tech heights our cars have reached.  Electric vehicles (EVs) raise the technological bar even higher with highly integrated electronics governing every system from transmissions to touch screens.

As electronics become more complex, the need to assure their reliability becomes more critical. Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is in the first rank of concerns for vehicle original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) along with mechanical stability, moisture resistance, heat tolerance, and the other parameters that have bearing on a vehicle’s safe operation.

OEMs have had automotive EMC standards in place for many years. They share the same objectives as those issued by CISPR, the European standards body, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The radiofrequency (RF) phenomena haven’t changed, but the vehicles have, and that means more scrutiny on EMC testing.

Elite’s Craig Fanning is one of the industry leaders in automotive EMC. He serves as vice-chair and working-group convener for CISPR/D, focusing on vehicle electronics. Craig leads Elite’s automotive-testing effort and shares some background on that work. 

The Standards

CISPR, ISO, and SAE are the organizations that draft and maintain international automotive EMC standards. SAE’s focus is on North American applications. Standards bodies tend to follow each other’s work and share information, and SAE standards have in some cases been incorporated into international standards. When the global standard is published, the equivalent SAE standard is withdrawn and becomes a reference that documents any differences from the newer global standard.

Beyond that, the vehicle OEMs have their own requirements they apply to themselves and to their suppliers. Because North American OEMs sell their products around the world, international standards are a substantial part of their internal requirements. Elite is recognized by domestic and international OEMs to perform tests to their specific company requirements, in addition to the broader CISPR, ISO, and SAE standards.

CISPR 12 as it Applies to Components

There are two broad categories of automotive EMC standards: those applying to the whole vehicle, and those applying to components within the vehicle. ISO, for example, publishes ISO 11451-xx for whole vehicles, and ISO 11452-xx and ISO 7637-xx for components (“xx” are the sub-documents specific to a category and test type).

CISPR 12 spells out vehicle-level radiated emissions. CISPR 25 focuses on component-level emissions and system immunity. A basic distinction is that CISPR 12 is intended to protect devices outside the vehicle off-board receivers from harmful RF emissions, while CISPR 25 is used to protect receivers and devices mounted on the vehicle on-board receivers.

Craig has written about this and offered an example to illustrate the difference: “A chainsaw with an internal combustion engine (but with no on-board receivers) would need to meet the requirements of CISPR 12, but CISPR 25 would not apply to this chainsaw since it does not utilize any on-board receivers.”

CISPR 12 radiated emission tests can be done at a 3m or 10m distance, which works neatly with the typical size of a semi-anechoic chamber. Elite’s experience in all forms of automotive EMC testing and a variety of test chambers is well-equipped to perform the mandated tests.

CISPR 25 for Whole-Vehicle and Component Tests

CISPR 25 is intended to protect the vehicle’s onboard receivers and is written in two parts. One applies to full-vehicle tests, employing antennas mounted on the vehicle to detect emissions from the vehicle’s own systems.  The intent is to measure how much noise finds its way into the radio from its antenna. Vehicles are unique is size, shape, and type of service.  Craig recommends starting with Elite’s blog series, “Prepare for Vehicle EMC Testing in 10 Steps,”, or for more detail Elite’s e-book, “10 Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing,” can be downloaded for reference.

The second part applies to conducted and radiated emission from the components within the vehicle. Those components typically are a manageable size and can be tested in a 3m chamber.  Elite has a number of chambers that are well-suited to those measurements, and Elite works with customers to match the product with the appropriate test environment.

CISPR 25 ranges from 150 kHz to 5.95 GHz, a range that can be a challenge in absorber-lined test chambers. The standard gives guidance on test-chamber sizing and layout. Because each product and its applications are different, Craig encourages those needing a test to contact Elite to determine which chamber and what configuration is applicable to a specific product. A test plan can then be developed to assure meaningful results.

Strategies for a Successful Test

For any specific test or application, different portions of these standards will apply. If your automotive product needs EMC tests and verification to CISPR, ISO, SAE, or OEM requirements, contact Elite. Craig and Elite’s team of experts can work with you to find the right standard, the right test facility, and help you devise a test plan that assures a trusted result.

Contact Elite’s automotive-testing group for the information you need.

Read more in Craig Fanning’s previous article with InCompliance magazine.

EMC Testing of Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are not the future – they are now.  Awareness of EVs is at an all-time high and you may already own one, like Elite’s Robert Bugielski.  EVs are not simply cars and trucks with batteries replacing the engine.  They’re complex systems that have to meet users’ expectations as well as the requirements for safety and reliability required of their petroleum-powered predecessors.

An EV consists of multiple systems: the battery pack; the charging system; the motor (or motors); and the auxiliary systems assuring safety and comfort.  Each system has its own design and component parts that need testing for design verification and regulatory compliance.

The individual systems need several kinds of tests.  Among those are the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests to confirm that radiofrequency (RF) emissions are not excessive and that their operation is not disrupted by ambient RF fields and transients.

Whole-vehicle tests are performed to measure RF emissions across a wide range of frequencies. The standards referenced for acceptable levels and test procedures are typically provided by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The OEMs have corporate standards specifying acceptable emission limits and test procedures in different configurations and conditions. 

Elite’s deep Automotive EMC Testing experience is apparent in the variety of vehicles and subassemblies that have passed through the lab. 

From forklifts to fire trucks, Elite knows automotive EMC.  The growth of the EV industry brings the need for comprehensive EMC-testing capability into sharp relief. It’s important to note that though individual subsystems may be shown to meet an emission or immunity requirement, their inclusion in the finished vehicle does not guarantee that the whole vehicle will meet the requirement.

Manufacturers that produce component systems need to meet the OEM’s basic specifications, which include RF emissions and immunity. The vehicle components are often supplied to the OEM by different manufacturers, but ultimately the whole vehicle needs to meet its applicable requirements.

Elite is uniquely equipped to perform whole-vehicle EMC testing, having long experience verifying cars, trucks, buses, and agricultural machines in its 70-foot semi-anechoic chamber. Major vehicle manufacturers have recognized Elite as their trusted compliance-testing facility.

Elite has two such chambers: Room 22, a 21.3m x 10.67m x 5.49m semi-anechoic chamber spacious enough to accommodate everything from small forklifts to transit buses.  The other is Room 23 for small vehicles, measuring 9.45m x 7m x 5.5m.

Automotive technology keeps improving and complexity keeps increasing. The systems and subsystems in a vehicle have to operate as a unit so that function, safety, and efficiency can all reach their peak. Whole-vehicle testing allows an OEM to confirm that interoperating parts of a vehicle work in harmony to keep the finished vehicle in regulatory compliance.

The future of automotive technology really is now. Contact the experts at Elite Electronic Engineering to keep your vehicle and its market moving forward.

Interesting in learning about the basics of Electric Vehicles? Check out Elite’s Introduction to Electric Vehicles blog.

Prepare for Vehicle EMC Testing at Elite in 10 Steps: Part 1

Start your Engine with the First Two Steps

Vehicles come in different shapes. Cars and trucks, of course, but also forklifts, buses, tractors, fire engines, and more. They all can move, hence the “auto” before “motive,” and they require complex and potentially dangerous internal devices to do that. 

Automotive electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) tests can be challenging. Do devices and subsystems stand alone or connect to another device during a test? And how should they be connected? Should the full vehicle be tested?  How is it equipped?  Which standards apply?

Safety and functional standards are in place to assure that vehicles operate correctly and with minimal risk to the public. Testing is required to verify compliance with those standards. Elite Electronic Engineering is recognized among test labs for its depth of experience and capability.

With the support of Elite’s engineers, you can rest assured that you’re working with the most knowledgeable, the best equipped, and the best value service provider in the industry. Elite has identified ten steps to prepare for an automotive EMC test, and this begins the series with the first two.  Stay tuned to the next issues of Elite’s blog for the complete list, and contact Elite to get your project moving on the right path.

Step 1: Where to Begin — Define Your Target Market

The first step is defining your target markets. Is your device sold to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or is it an aftermarket product? Will it be used in North America, Europe, or Asia? Will it fit on only one vehicle, or on multiple platforms? Is there wireless connectivity?

OEMs usually specify their EMC and electrical requirements for electronic subassemblies. Often the specification will identify the applicable regulatory requirements for the targeted markets. The OEM’s testing standards may also incorporate regulatory requirements.

The intended country’s regulations become the focus If the product is a subassembly. The manufacturer can meet some requirements by testing to harmonized standards and self-declaring compliance, but other regulations require third-party testing and certification. Elite can give you step-by-step guidance for OEM validation and regulatory compliance.

Step 2: Develop an EMC Test Plan

A test plan is essential to a successful EMC test. Most vehicle OEMs require the supplier to complete a test plan approved by the OEM’s assigned EMC engineer.

Some OEMs require test-plan approval, and delays in providing it can delay the start of the test and its completion. The test report can be invalidated if the OEM has not agreed to the test plan. Elite recommends that test plans be forwarded to its experts for review to confirm the necessary signatures and lab identification.

Sample Test Plan Template

A test plan is not required in some cases, but Elite highly recommends having one. A test plan builds confidence between the supplier and the OEM and is important to include in a technical compliance file.  It demonstrates a manufacturer’s due diligence in assessing regulatory compliance.

A generic test plan can be developed that draws recommendations from the applicable standards. Talk with Elite’s experts to craft your test plan.

Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” It was true for baseball and it’s especially true for compliance testing. A comprehensive Test Plan is your route to success.

Contact us to keep moving in the right direction.  Steps 3 thru 6 are coming up next month.

Introduction to Electric Vehicles

Elite’s Robert Bugielski wears many hats. One of those is serving as the local authority on electric vehicles (EVs). He has the hands-on and plug-in experience of owning a Tesla Model S. In this first entry of Elite’s EV series, Robert shares the background he’s learned.

Automobile Evolution

At the end of the last century, automobiles finally outnumbered horses and buggies. We’re now in the next century and the next big switch is coming: EVs will outnumber internal combustion engines. I know it’s hard to believe, but as a Tesla Model S owner, I can confidently tell you it’s going to happen. I often talk with family, friends, colleagues, (and even strangers) about my car when they see it. As an introduction to EVs, I’ll share some of those questions and answers.

What’s with the abbreviations?

If you’ve researched new vehicles, gone car shopping, or read automotive articles, you’ve experienced the overwhelming use of acronyms. It used to be simple: unleaded gas or diesel. Times have changed to include ICE, Hybrid, PHEV, and EV/BEV:

ICE – Internal Combustion Engine;

Hybrid – Small battery system charged by an ICE, typically no or little electric range;

PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, battery system charged by an ICE. Often a bigger battery that provides a longer electric-only range;

BEV or EV – Battery Electric Vehicle/Electric Vehicle: all-electric, all the time.

How much electricity do you use and how much do you save?

One of the changes you make when going from ICE to EV is in the way you think of energy sources and distance. In ICE vehicles we look at miles per gallon (MPG), in EVs we look at watt-hours per mile (Wh/mi). My model S averages 310Wh/mi, the equivalent of 3.23 miles per kWh. Currently our utility cost at my house is 7.1 cents per kWh. I use 10.5 kWh of electricity going to work and back home, or 75 cents per day. If instead I drove my wife’s Toyota Rav4, averaging 22 MPG, I would need 1.5 gallons of gas. Gasoline in Chicago suburbs currently costs $3.50/gallon, so it would cost $5.25 per day.

Truth be told, I rarely use a supercharger, and I know exactly how much because Tesla provides a supercharging record in your Tesla account. In two years, I’ve charged only 245 miles at a supercharger out of 18,578 miles I’ve driven. That means a mere 1.3% of my charging was at a supercharger and 98.7% of my charging was done at home with the stage-two charger in my garage.

Tesla’s Supercharger Network

When traveling long distance or out of state, how do I know I won’t run out of charge or not find a charging station?

In my experience, it’s as simple as putting the destination into the navigation app and letting the car do the rest. All I need to do is enter my parent’s Florida address into the navigation app. The car calculates the route, at what charging stations we’ll need to stop, and how much time is needed at each charging station. From Aurora, IL to Poinciana, FL my model S says it will take 24hrs to go 1,222 miles. There will be eleven charging stops varying from 10 minutes to 70 minutes, for a total charging time of five hours and forty-five minutes. Sure, if I made this trip once a month, the charging time would bother me. But if I’m driving this distance once a year, eleven hours of round-trip charging wouldn’t bother me, especially if I save a few hundred dollars using electricity instead of gas.

What happens if you get stuck in a snowstorm?

Recently there was a traffic jam in Virginia that trapped motorists on a highway for a day. I’ve seen some ill-informed comments about EVs, asking what would happen in that situation. Tesla vehicles have a “camp” mode that shuts everything off in the car except the HVAC system. This feature uses between 0.5-2kWh of power per hour depending on external and internal temperature. My model S has a 90kWh battery pack; assuming I was stuck with 60kWh left in my battery, in the worst case I could run camp mode for 25 hours and still have 30 miles of driving range. If conditions are not that extreme and my car only uses 1kWh of power per hour, the battery would last 50 hours. A big difference is that ICE vehicles don’t always leave the house in the morning with a full tank. My EV is plugged-in every night with a stage-two charger, and I always leave in the morning with 72kWh charge (80%) as recommend by Tesla for improved battery life.

What do you like most about driving a Tesla?

This is the question most often asked and the hardest to answer, because it’s hard to say which difference I enjoy most. The autopilot is a breath of fresh air, especially when driving in Chicago’s stop-and-go traffic. Minimal maintenance is another benefit; my owner’s manual has two entries for maintenance: HEPA air filter changed every three years and brake fluid flushing every four years — that’s it. No oil changes, no transmission/transfer case flushes, no timing belts, no spark plugs, no alternators, cylinders, pistons, hoses, etc. It’s also nice to warm up my car up in winter with the garage closed and no worry about exhaust fumes.

But if I were forced to pick one thing, it would be the ease of plugging it in at night and having a charge every morning. No more leaving in the morning allowing time for a gas-station stop, no standing in -10F Chicago windchills swiping my credit card and pressing “no” to all the questions just so I can pump gas, no standing in poorly plowed gas-station pump lanes, and finally, no more checking gas prices.

Coming up: safety and compliance testing of electric vehicles

EV testing is a fundamental part of their development and necessary to meet their required standards.   Here at Elite the electric vehicle market is a key part of our business and is an area that we have significant expertise and capability.  

Robert’s insight provides the first entry in a series of EV blogs and technical articles that will highlight the important work we do to support manufacturers as they develop components, systems, and whole vehicles. 

Watch for those and Contact Elite with your questions about EV testing and requirements.

Elite Now an Approved Mazda EMC Laboratory

Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing team has successfully completed the lab approval process to become the first and only approved Mazda EMC test laboratory in North America. With this new credential, Elite is ready to conduct validation testing for automotive electronics manufacturers on a wide range of Mazda vehicle electronic systems.

The scope of Elite’s approved services currently extends to testing low voltage (12VDC) components with plans to achieve full approval for all high voltage testing required for electric vehicle drive train components.

Elite’s capabilities cover the MES PW 67602 “Revision D” standard which means having methods such as the Tri-Plate transmission line and all the CI 290 Mazda cranking waveforms in place.  In addition, our radiated emissions equipment and chambers meet stringent requirements set in the Revision D standard.

To have your product tested, manufacturers can simply send their Mazda EMC test plan to Elite for review and to receive a proposal, as well as a project start date.  From there we connect our EMC experts with the client’s technical team to prepare for testing in advance and ensure a successful delay-free validation project.

Mazda EMC approval adds to our long list of global Automotive OEM approvals, including Ford, GM, FCA (Stellantis), Hyundai-Kia, and Jaguar Land Rover. With more EMC chambers, test equipment, and qualified personnel than any other EMC lab, Elite is uniquely suited to help automotive electronics manufacturers achieve their product validation goals and deliver products to the OEMs on time and with accepted test results.

Contact us today for information on how Elite can help you with your Mazda EMC validation testing.

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CISPR 36 Is Published

New EMC Standard for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

By Craig Fanning, EMC Lab Manager

As the United States Lead Technical Advisor and Vice-Chair for CISPR/D (the committee responsible for the development of international automotive emissions standards), I am happy to announce that the new CISPR 36 standard has been published as of July 2020.

CISPR 36:2020, entitled “Electric and hybrid electric road vehicles – Radio disturbance characteristics – Limits and methods of measurement for the protection of off-board receivers below 30 MHz,” was developed through the efforts of CISPR/D/WG1 (the same working group responsible for CISPR 12).

The standard covers radiated emissions measurements from electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) in the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz. The test measures the magnetic field emissions being produced by the vehicle (on all 4 sides) at a test distance of 3 meters. Although the vehicle’s emissions are measured at a test distance of 3 meters, the limits were derived for the protection of off-board receivers at a 10-meter separation distance

CISPR 36 was developed based upon the need for a vehicle emissions standard covering the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz. Vehicles utilizing electric propulsion  tend to produce emissions in the lower frequency bands not covered by CISPR 12 (a standard also for protection of off-board receivers at a 10 meter separation distance but in the frequency range of 30 MHz to 1000 MHz). The new international standard was also developed because SAE J551/5 (a recommended practice developed for industrial robotics) was being used for EV and HEV regulatory purposes in China GB/T 18387.

The development and publishing of the standard was not easy. The team worked on this project for several years and through several iterations of proposed limits and measurement detectors.  Using the methods described in CISPR 16-4-4, the team made some small adjustments to the proposed limits and increased confidence that the limits would fulfil CISPR’s scope to protect the radio spectrum. In addition, the team agreed to change the measurement detector from Peak to Quasi-Peak which also required a change in the limit curve. These changes allowed the document to pass the voting processes and get to the publication stage.

Going forward, vehicle OEMs should avoid further use of SAE J551/5 as it will be withdrawn and SAE J551/1 will instruct users to reference CISPR 36.

Congratulations to all the CISPR/D experts who worked on this new international standard in order to get it to publication. The hard work by many will ensure the protection of the radio spectrum as EVs and HEVs continue to evolve and emerge in the automotive market worldwide.

Learn more about Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing capabilities and our expert engineers.


Elite is All Charged-Up for Ford FMC 1280

Earlier this year Ford released the FMC 1280 EMC specification covering High Voltage Electrical/Electronic Components and Subsystems during Charging. Since the release of the document Elite’s Automotive EMC Testing team has been preparing its lab to conduct this testing for Ford suppliers. Well, all the prep work is now complete and we’re ready to test.

The purpose of this standard is to validate the automotive electronics that are active during vehicle battery charging while the vehicle is connected to the AC mains power grid or an external DC charging device.

The preparation has not been trivial but Elite was already well-aligned with the needs of this new spec because a major sector of our testing expertise overlapped perfectly with the needs of FMC 1280. 

Elite is already a leader in EMC testing for FCC, Canada ISED, and European Union CE Mark compliance. With our two 3-meter chambers and a full suite of IEC 61000-4-x test equipment, we are fully prepared for supporting Ford suppliers of vehicle charging related equipment.

In addition, we have also been conducting UNECE Regulation 10 testing for European Union type certification. Many of the tests in UNECE Reg 10 are aligned with the FMC 1280 requirements.

An FMC approved test plan is still required for FMC 1280 testing, so please be sure to let the FMC EMC engineer know that you will be having this testing done at Elite during the test plan approval process.

Contact us today and speak with one of our Automotive EMC experts to learn more about our Ford FMC 1280 capabilities.


Observations on International Automotive EMC Testing

At Elite, we perform a significant number of Automotive EMC tests.  This includes a wide range of test methods developed by standards organizations like SAE, ISO, and CISPR.  We also test dozens of specifications developed by domestic OEMs as well as requirements from International OEMs around the world. There are easily several hundred unique industry and corporate tests we run for International Automotive EMC and electrical validation. 

The majority of all OEM specifications include familiar core methods such as those described in ISO 11452, ISO 7637, or CISPR25. However, nearly all corporate OEMs tailor these common methods, and may also create their own uniquely developed tests to meet their specific quality standards and markets. International OEMs in particular have some very specialized tests that require custom-built equipment and test procedures. This month, I offer my observations on some unique international OEM requirements and how Elite configures our services to meet the challenge based on my 15 years of experience.

1) Lengthy Surge Testing: One major international OEM specifies a conducted transient immunity test of 50,000 positive and negative polarity pulses associated with the alternator field coil and other inductive loads.  At 2 seconds per pulse, a single sample in one mode of operation requires approximately 28 hours of testing. It’s a good test in that it confirms transient voltage suppressors (TVS) are properly designed to shunt voltage spikes.  But given the high number of applied pulses, it’s also effective as a TVS durability test where component weaknesses, heating effects, and dielectric breakdown over time are evaluated.

Test plans often call for multiple samples and test modes, so Elite developed two sets of custom test equipment to handle the throughput. Also, because this particular OEM specification allows for a wide tolerance for the spark surge duration (0.1 to 1.5ms) it’s important to confirm this parameter with the OEM prior to testing.  Our test stand is flexibly configured to vary the duration, but a variation across the range of allowable surge duration can mean imparting pulses with an energy that can vary by over 100 joules. It’s a good test, but depending on the defined surge duration, a product may or may not meet this requirement.

2) 10-meter Harness Noise Coupling Test: In this international OEM test, a 10-meter long (30 feet) harness is run on a 12ft x 6ft bench with the harness connected to typical vehicle electronic subassemblies (ESA). The specification calls for a car horn, headlamp, windshield wiper motor, and other components that create the electrical transient environment of a vehicle harness. Once the test environment harness is set up, the test item is connected to its own length of harness tightly coupled alongside the 10m test harness and subjected to the transients created by the on/off cycling of each ESA.

While many OEMs have versions of this coupled noise test, this one is unique in that it requires a 10m long harness and uses actual vehicle components as the noise generators.  It’s a very comprehensive evaluation of all possible conditions on the vehicle and the transients are more representative of the actual harness environment.  At Elite, we optimize this test by dedicating a test bench and the whole area having the ESA generators permanently fixed along with the 10m harness constrained in a static configuration.  This permanent arrangement provides more repeatability each time we run the test and reduces setup time.

3) Magnetic Field (Noise Box) Test: This is generally referred to as the “Noise Box” test in which a loop of wire is formed around a low dielectric frame, such as Styrofoam.  The OEM standard specifies a 0.5m x 0.3m dimension for the test but vehicle components are often too large. In order to test large components, Elite increased its box dimensions to 1m x 1m. A correction factor is used to account for the larger box size dimensions.

4) Emissions Measured in dBm: The majority of all conducted and radiated emissions automotive EMC testing is performed using an antenna cable to the input of a measurement receiver having a 50-ohm input impedance.  A few international OEMs specify emissions measurements in terms of power (dBm).  While emissions measured as a power metric are not conventional for the automotive markets, it is often used in regulatory testing for wireless transmitters.  Most harmonized European Union standards such as those for WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular transceivers require testing for spurious emissions measured in power (dBm). 

We also observe that international OEMs oftentimes do not publish the limits for emissions with their common specifications; rather they provide a test method document than in a separate product document they define the emissions limits in some cases for very specific modules on the vehicle.  Elite has created automation and software that allows for setting unique emissions limits for a particular product.

5) Stripline, TEM Cell, and BCI Immunity: Nearly all OEMs include Bulk Current Injection (BCI) immunity testing within the span of 10kHz up to 400MHz because inductively coupling RF energy onto a vehicle harness is very efficiently accomplished over this range.  

In addition to BCI, some international OEMs also require TEM cell and Stripline RF immunity tests. TEM and Stripline use capacitive rather than inductive coupling to impart RF energy to harnesses and circuit elements. Running a BCI test along with TEM and Stripline would appear to be redundant but it illustrates the importance that international OEMs place on having robust electronic performance, in particular for this frequency range.   Typical vehicle harnesses can be resonant in the frequency range where BCI, TEM, and Stripline are applied.  Plus, harnesses are almost always unshielded and can act as tuned antennas capable of receiving RF energy and creating susceptibility problems.  The rigor of multiple RF immunity tests over this range reduces the risk of immunity problems at the vehicle level.

At Elite, our TEM cell operation is optimized with proven software and by dedicating the amplifier and cabling for the setup.  Some TEM cell requirements run up to 400MHz where the VSWR of the chamber becomes an issue.  However, by continuously monitoring VSWR during the test we can gauge the operation of the test and evaluate the relevance of anomalies if they occur.

Our Stripline is configured on a wheeled base that allows for quick placement in an absorber-lined chamber.  Test setup time for TEM or Stripline is very quick.  

Finally, we have one OEM specification that requires BCI testing up to 2GHz.  Testing to this high frequency is not a conventional test but we have the injection probes tuned for this range along with all other hardware to complete testing.

In summary, even though the EMC physics of Faraday, Maxwell, and Hertz are the same regardless of product, industry, or electromagnetic environment, the actual test methods we run for our wide range of clients are quite different depending on the application and environment.  

The variety of testing makes for a challenging professional work day, especially when you have to quickly transition between tests and from one OEM’s specification to another.  Fortunately, we have software, test fixtures, and quality processes that help keep all 35 of Elite’s EMC test engineers accurate and efficient in our tasks.

One last observation to make is that I’m fortunate to work with my brother, Mark because he’s a great person and (in case you haven’t noticed by the photo) we have a lot in common. Mark works in the Environmental Stress Testing lab and we often get into very “lively Gabalewicz discussions” as to which technical career is more difficult – EMC or Mechanical testing. Since this is my article, EMC is far more challenging.  End of story.

We welcome any questions on Automotive EMC testing, and encourage you to contact us if you would like to learn more about International EMC testing or any of our other services.

Ford Mandates Reverb RI Testing for Components

Earlier this year the Ford EMC department issued a notice to Elite and all other approved test labs that all RF radiated immunity testing shall be performed using the reverberation chamber method. In the past, Ford’s corporate EMC standards EMC-CS-2009.1 and FMC-1278 have permitted the use of either the reverberation chamber method or absorber lined chamber radiated immunity method.

However, going forward, the reverb method will be the default test method. We are recommending to all clients that if they are considering the ALSE version of the test, to double check with Ford EMC during the test plan development and approval process. ALSE can only be used with specific permission from Ford EMC, and that has to be clearly defined in the approved test plan.

Elite has three Mode Tuned reverberation chambers. In addition to using them for Ford RI114 testing, these chambers are also applied for DO-160G and MIL-STD-461 radiated immunity. The Commercial Aviation and Military EMC testing we perform in these chambers allows Elite to apply pulsed RF test levels up to 5000 V/m.

Elite is fully approved by Ford for RI114 testing in a reverberation chamber. Contact us today if you have any questions on this new requirement for Automotive EMC testing.

Labels: Automotive EMC

Electric Vehicles Drive New EMC Standards

By Craig Fanning, EMC Lab Manager

Elite will be hosting our annual St. Patrick’s Day Event with the IEEE and SAE Chicago sections on March 13.

For the keynote presentation, EMC engineers from Harley-Davidson will outline the technical development process and discuss the unique challenges that accompany the design, testing, and manufacturing of the LiveWire – the first all-electric motorcycle from H-D.

This will be a very interesting event from my perspective as I am heavily involved with the development of Automotive EMC standards as the CISPR/D Vice Chair and member of the ISO USTAG and SAE EMC Committees.

Here are just a few of the standards that are being updated to address the EMC testing of Electric Vehicles (EVs):

  • ECE Regulation 10 (now 10.05) was updated to address the EMC testing of EVs and EV ESAs (Electronic Sub-Assemblies) at the regulatory level. This standard is currently being used for regulatory purposes if a vehicle manufacturer wants to sell in many countries overseas which requires Type approval of the vehicle (E Marking).
  • CISPR 25 4th Edition was updated with setups for the testing of both EVs and components. Annex I of the updated standard covers the special setups and considerations for the testing of EV modules
  • CISPR 12 7th Edition is currently at the CD stage as the FDIS vote did not pass. This was mainly due to the fact that CISPR/D WG1 wanted to keep the peak detector limits in the standard. The “peak to quasi-peak” correction has been 20 dB for many years since that correlates with internal combustion engine ignition noise. However, the “peak to quasi-peak” correction for EV drive systems is considerably less. Therefore, we will need to make some additional changes to the proposed standard prior to publication.
  • CISPR 36 1st Edition is a brand new standard that is currently in the development stages. This standard addresses the radiated emissions of EVs and HEVs. This standard will cover the frequency range of 150 kHz to 30 MHz and is for the protection of off-board receivers at a distance of 10 meters from the vehicle. Again, the proposed limits were a concern for some countries and we are working towards justification efforts and reworking the proposed limits.

Standards are also being developed for the Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) charging of EVs. These high-power charging systems which are capable of charging the vehicle battery without any physical connection to the charging system (charging through the air) will be critical for the future when driverless EVs will be driving on the roadways.

We are also working on implementing updates to cover the testing of vehicles and ESAs that utilize autonomous driving. Technology drives the standards and the standards committees are currently getting a lot of good input from vehicle manufacturers and suppliers that utilize autonomous driving systems. As we see the need and receive requests for updates to the standards, they will be implemented.

The development of Automotive EMC standards for North America and the rest of the world has been very active over the past few years with the industry-changing impact of electric and autonomous vehicles. We look forward to seeing everybody on March 13 for the presentation by the EV experts from Harley-Davidson.

AAA Selects Elite for Headlight Study

The American Automobile Association (AAA) recently studied the impact of lens deterioration on automotive headlight performance and found that cloudy and yellowed lenses can reduce light output by nearly 80% compared to new headlights. Poor headlight performance makes nighttime driving more hazardous, so AAA recommends that motorists invest in one of several lens restoration options compared in their final report.

AAA sought an ISO 17025 accredited photometric testing laboratory to help quantify the effect of lens deterioration on headlight performance and ultimately selected Elite’s Photometric Testing team to help design and execute the test protocol and reverse-engineer mounting fixtures.

The goals of the study were to determine the reduction in light output caused by deteriorated headlight lenses and evaluate several lens restoration options to see which provided the most improvement in roadway illumination while minimizing glare. AAA selected five driver-side headlamps from two popular sedans that represented new, replacement, and aged performance.

After review of the goals and test samples, Elite’s experts recommended a testing sequence to allow direct comparison of each headlight’s performance from several aspects. Elite’s state-of-the-art Type A goniophotometer offered the flexibility and accuracy to define the low- and high-beam light patterns, measure the “birds’ eye” view of roadway illumination, and assess regulatory compliance to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 (FMVSS 108). The used samples were tested before and after restoration to demonstrate the performance improvement from professional and low-cost “DIY” restoration methods. Full details of the test methods, results, and conclusions are available in the full AAA Headlamp Lens Deterioration Research Report.

Do you need a reliable testing partner for your next automotive lighting project? Elite’s Photometric TestingEMC Testing, and Environmental Stress Testing team brings together expert engineers and advanced equipment to deliver accredited test results on your schedule. Contact us today to discuss testing requirements for your automotive lighting products. 


Elite’s Stan Dolecki on UNECE Regulation 10

Elite’s Automotive EMC Team Leader, Stan Dolecki, was recently interviewed by Interference Technology regarding UNECE Regulation 10. The discussion focused on electronic sub-assemblies with immunity-related functionality and associated voltage and current transient requirements. Mr. Dolecki brings his unmatched expertise in Automotive EMC test standards and methods to nearly every project at Elite to assist customers with complete test plans and evaluate compliance to applicable standards

Click here to read the full interview at Interference Technology

Contact us today to team up with Elite’s Automotive EMC test experts on your next project.


In Case You Missed It, Elite Was There

Elite’s staff has been busy the past few months attending important industry events that impact our test industry and the clients we serve. From these tradeshows and conferences, we’ve narrowed down a few key takeaways to share with our readers.

Mobile World Congress Americas 2018

The MWCA conference and exhibition is the largest mobile cellular industry event held in the US. Elite’s participation included having a sales booth where our staff met attendees and showcased our new OTA test services and Connected Conformity processes. Our staff also attended conference sessions to hear the latest news about all things cellular.

CEOs and tech leaders described their vision for 5G and how it will enable innovation, create new markets, dramatically boost the US economy, and generally raise the standard of living globally. New cellular innovation will enable the convergence of augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence to create the equivalent of the next Industrial Revolution. The following videos offer a high-level summary for Day 1 and Day 2 at MWCA 2018. 

2018 IEEE 88th Vehicular Technology Conference

The IEEE VTS conference was held in Chicago this past August and included three days of keynote presentations along with over 500 technical papers covering the latest in connected vehicle technology.

Here are a few highlights of interest to our readers: 

  • There is no immediate timing for a federal mandate requiring Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) or Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (cV2X).
  • Commercial deployment of cV2X is expected to be in vehicles by 2020.
  • The FCC is still evaluating spectrum sharing possibilities at 5.9GHz for Wi-Fi and DSRC/cV2X.  Options include enabling WiFi with detect-and-avoid technology as well as re-channelization where safety channels are moved to the upper part of the band.
  • The FCC will have proposals for unlicensed access in the 6GHz-8Ghz range later this year.

Elite’s Firass Badaruzzaman (center) also caught up with fellow Motorola alums Dennis Roberson (left; President of Roberson and Associates; IEEE VTS Conference Chairman) and Marty Cooper (right; Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Executive; widely considered the “father of the handheld cell phone.”

Industry conferences and technical seminars are unique opportunities to learn from and network with other technical professionals – and you will usually find Elite there. Check here for upcoming events hosted and attended by Elite.


Elite Helps Steer Automotive EMC Standards Development

An Interview with Elite’s EMC Lab Manager and “CISPR-D” US Technical Advisor, Craig Fanning. Learn more from Craig at the upcoming Automotive EMC Standards Seminars in Detroit and Chicago.

By Stacey Klouda Cosentino

Stacey (SKC)-   So Craig, you’ve really grown a passion for helping to write and maintain automotive EMC standards. What’s your story, and tell us about these standards and committees you lead?

Craig-  Okay I’ll admit it I’ve become a standards nerd, but after 20 years of participation on tech committees, I really come to recognize standards are essential in any industry that’s successful and sustaining.  The automotive industry is 3% to 4% of our total GDP so we take pride here at Elite in contributing to this important segment of the US economy. Automotive EMC is also a big part of Elite’s brand and as the leader in automotive EMC testing, we need to be a significant voice in test technology.  

Currently, I’m the US Technical Advisor to CISPR D, Convener of CISPR D/WG2, and the Convener of CISPR D/A JTF on Chamber Validation. I am also in the process of being nominated to be Vice-Chair of CISPR D. CISPR is part of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the various CISPR subcommittees prepare standards for different industry segments. CISPR D addresses RF emissions standards for vehicles. I am also on the SAE EMC committee and the ISO/TC22/SC32/WG3 committee. The WG3 committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the immunity standards used in the automobile industry worldwide.

SKC-   What’s involved as a committee member and leader and why is this important?

Craig-  As the US Technical Advisor, my responsibility is to provide technical input for the US on standards at an international level. We have a team of about 20 experts from US-based OEMs, suppliers, and laboratories that make up the CISPR D USTAG. Each National Committee is allowed to have just a few key individuals that can attend the international standards meetings. It is our delegation’s job to make sure the interests of US manufacturers/suppliers and test labs are well represented when developing and maintaining international standards.

Quite honestly…as a leader, I am just the organizer of a committee. We have a phenomenal team of very knowledgeable experts who have been involved with automotive EMC (and standards development) for many years. We have one expert on the USTAG who was an integral part of drafting CISPR 25 Ed.1. He basically wrote the first revision of the standard we are still using today and he still contributes to the evolution of the standard. OEM experts work on actual vehicle issues every day. They are the ones who really know what performance is needed at the module level in order to have acceptable EMC performance at the vehicle level. As an EMC laboratory expert, I provide help with test and standards development from a practical standpoint. This is definitely a team effort…and we all work together well to get the job done.   

A big part of what we do is to make sure the standards are continuously improving, relevant, and adapting to changing technology and innovation. As a committee, we specify test processes by consensus of experts and in that way capture best practices and ensure consistent and repeatable measurement results.

Our efforts to standardize methodologies reduce the cost and variety of test equipment, software, and unique expertise.  The physics of EMC is the same for each OEM, supplier, and lab, so if we can write a single test method that can be shared by all players then the evaluation process for the entire industry becomes more efficient.

SKC-   As you mention the physics of EMC has not changed and for sure automotive EMC standards have been around for many years, so why is it important to have new or revised automotive EMC standards?

Craig-  You’re right our standards have been around for years, but these documents were the best work at the time they were released.  Our work efforts now are to improve the existing specs and make them more clear, concise, and unambiguous. We include improvements on definitions, setup details, and special test cases for new technology.  

SKC-   What new technology is driving your committee work?

Craig-  Electric and hybrid vehicle electronics are a major one.  With all the plug-in and Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) charging systems vehicle electronics need to consider an entirely different EMC environment. In this area we incorporate the work from the AC mains connected CISPR/ISO/IEC committees and adapt their technical input to the vehicle environment. I am also involved with the ANSI C63.30 committee working on a procedure for the testing of WPT products (including WPT devices for vehicles).

Autonomous driving is also a big leap in vehicle technology. Autonomous vehicles have many high-frequency transmitters and include wireless connectivity. There are a greater number and variety of vehicular wireless devices with a broad range of applications, frequencies, and power levels. We will have a lot of interesting work to do from a standards development standpoint to address this new technology and connectivity.    

The receive bandwidth and sensitivity of wireless devices depend on the type of device – for example, TPMS, GPS, WiFi, or cellular.  Our committee has to consider the level of protection these devices need and then develop vehicle and component standards that will limit interference from vehicle electronics and motors. We have to balance specifying limits that protect receivers with the design constraints for vehicle electronic and motor manufacturers. After all, it’s not economical to specify requirements that dictate vehicle systems to be designed with shielded enclosures, harnesses, and connectors so we have to write practical documents.

SKC–  How are advancements in testing instrumentation and software changing standards?

Craig-  There are really important changes in our standards as a result of time-domain FFT-based receivers. We’re already seeing the benefits of FFT technology especially when testing GNSS receivers where the RBW is only 9kHz. This is an exhaustively long measurement with a swept or stepped receiver when compared to an FFT receiver. We are implementing FFT into the OEM measurements which allow FFT. Elite also does testing for the Military, Aerospace, and Commercial Electronics industries. FFT is finding its way into those standards and we will be implementing that technology into those tests whenever possible.

SKC- How has your standards work helped you personally?

Craig–  I’ve had the opportunity to meet many brilliant people in our industry from the US and around the world. I have been privileged to be able to know many of them on a professional and personal level. I’ve come to recognize that we all have a common focus of contributing our knowledge to the industry (no matter where you live or work geographically).

Being a part of these standards committees has really helped Elite be the leader in automotive EMC testing. I’ve been able to gain insight into the standards like never before so that when we test at Elite, we have a rock-solid understanding of what’s right or wrong about our processes.  It builds tremendous confidence internally and with our clients when we set up and run our tests. No matter how concise we try to make the standard, something always comes up for interpretation. Being involved with the standard development, I know what the intent of the standard was and how to correctly interpret the standards whenever there is a question or the need for engineering judgment.  

SKC-  How has Elite supported your participation?

Craig–   Elite has always been an ardent supporter of industry organizations, like the IEEE EMC Society, SAE, IEST, and other professional groups.  Industry organization support was a core belief of Elite’s founder Jim Klouda and he stressed that Elite’s employees should be active in our industry and contribute time and resources. That same belief and commitment continue today with our current company leaders Ray, Tom, and Joe Klouda.  At Elite I’m involved with CISPR, ISO, and SAE for automotive EMC, but we also have Tom Klouda leading aviation lightning standards development and Pat Hall participating in HIRF standards development in the SAE aviation committees.  Plus on the wireless regulatory testing side, Dan Crowder works in commercial wireless testing standards. Seems at times like we’ve got our hands in everything. 


10 Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing

An average passenger car today relies on between 50 to 75 embedded electronic modules to monitor and control nearly all aspects of vehicle operations. These functions include steering, braking, tail-pipe emission controls, safety, and entertainment and comfort enhancements, to name just a few.

To ensure safe and reliable operations of these systems, a rigorous, multistep test-and-validation process is often performed as part of product development.

Our FREE e-book will take you through each step:

  1. Determining your target market
  2. Product function and expected performance
  3. Compatibility with other devices
  4. Test requirements and documentation
  5. Test lab needs
  6. Development testing
  7. Test quoting and scheduling

As well as three more important steps to guide your successful automotive EMC testing!

Download 10 Steps to Successful Automotive EMC Testing for Free

Updates for GMW3097 EMC Testing

Manufacturers of new electrical and electronic modules to General Motors must perform EMC validation testing in accordance with the specification titled GMW 3097 (June 2015). The spectrum of testing required by GMW 3097 consists of conducted/radiated emissions, conducted/radiated immunity, conducted transient immunity/emissions, and Electrostatic Discharge.

Recently, GM has enacted a new policy that places much greater emphasis on the summary reporting requirements listed in GMW 3097 (June 2015). The summary report obligations for suppliers are stated in Section 3 Requirements, Part (d) in the Notes:

Note: In addition to the procedure report(s) per item “d” in the preceding list, the supplier shall also submit a brief summary of any/all DV/PV data associated with any test under an approved EMC test plan within five (5) working days of completion of that testing. This submission shall be via email to both the GM Design Responsible Engineer (DRE)/Designing Engineer (DE) and the GM EMC engineer.

GM requires that the supplier must send by email an in-process summary report after the completion of each separate phase of testing, i.e upon completion of radiated emissions, or conducted transients, ESD, etc. In addition, when the supplier sends the data summary report to the GM DRE/DE, the supplier must also “cc” copy the EMC test lab confirming the summary report email was transmitted. EMC labs are required to confirm that validation data was sent after each test and within five days of completion of each phase of testing.  

This new policy by GM places important obligations on both the supplier and on the test lab that performed the testing. This policy certainly includes Elite when we perform GMW 3097 EMC validation testing for our clients. GM EMC group not being updated on a test-by-test basis is no longer an option.

In addition, the GM policy stipulates that if the data is not transmitted within five days then the EMC test laboratory that performed the tests must notify GM that the data has not been transmitted. If the EMC lab (Elite) does not receive a “cc’ed” email copy of the data summary from its customer at the five-day expiration period then the EMC lab (Elite) is at risk of losing its GM EMC laboratory recognition. 

Because of the obligations placed on Elite by this GM policy, data transmittal email copies that are not received by Elite within five days will be notified to GM directly by Elite. Elite is not obligated to provide the data to GM but rather inform GM EMC DRE/DE that the five-day grace period has passed and we have not received confirmation that the data has been transmitted to GM.

Given the serious consequences of non-compliance with this GM requirement, Elite will follow this notification policy rigorously. 

Please contact us if you have any questions about this process or our testing services. We certainly want our customers to be informed of this important GM procedure and work together to avoid any complications with GM validation testing. 

For more information contact Robert Bugielski:

Robert J. Bugielski Jr.

Senior EMC Engineer

Technical Sales

ph: (630) 495-9770 ext. 168



Elite’s Automotive EMC Lab Recognition

Now Updated for the new Ford and GM specs!

As the leader in automotive EMC testing, we at Elite continue to improve processes, expand capabilities, and strengthen our credentials as a recognized test facility. Our latest efforts have earned us laboratory recognition by Ford and GM Elite for their newly updated corporate EMC standards.

EMC laboratory recognition is a formal and rigorous assessment of a lab’s quality processes, expertise, and capabilities. The evaluation is performed independently by the EMC stewards at each of the big three automotive companies. Our ISO 17025 quality system accreditation is a prerequisite, but the automotive recognition goes far beyond by examining in detail Elite’s test process for each and every EMC and electrical OEM requirement. The examination confirms we are using the proper equipment and that our methods are consistent with those practices by the OEM. The review confirms that our documentation and reported results are clear and concise and that we can demonstrate accurate and consistent results through proficiency testing. In the end, automotive EMC lab recognition is an OEM statement of confidence in Elite recognizing we can execute EMC and electrical tests accurately and efficiently and that our results can be accepted.

For years, Elite has been a fully recognized EMC lab for Chrysler, Ford, and GM. In fact, we remain one of the only approved labs with “full” recognition, meaning that Elite is approved for each and every OEM test method rather than only a selected subset.

Elite is also a recognized Jaguar Land Rover EMC facility and we are approved by Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) for “E” mark testing of components and whole vehicles, and tractors.  

Our automotive recognitions complement our other credentials such as being an FCC Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB) for wireless device certifications, a Canadian certification body, and a European Union Notified Body for the Radio Equipment Directive. We have also achieved the impressive status of iNARTE Organizational Certification which recognizes that at least 70% of our EMC engineers who are eligible for iNARTE certification have achieved the credential. 

Contact us today if you have questions (Steve Laya via email).


Automotive Standards Development 2014 Recap

As a featured speaker at this year’s ROACH Conference in Seattle, Craig presented a “Review of Automotive Standards Utilizing Reverberation” and participated in the “Emerging Technologies in EMI/EMC testing” panel discussion.  He also attended several other meetings concerning EMC standards this spring and was kind enough to pass along some notes and a couple of snapshots.

Automotive standards development at the North American and International levels continues to be hectic in 2014. The SAE EMC committees had a meeting in January 2014 and will be having another in April. At the international level, CISPR/D WG1, CISPR/D WG2, and ISO/TC22/SC3/WG3 had their first of two meetings scheduled for 2014 in February.

Experts from eight countries convened at the ETS Lindgren facility in Cedar Park, Texas to continue work on the CISPR 12, CISPR 25, ISO 11451-xx, ISO 11452-xx, and ISO 7637-x standards. ETS Lindgren was kind enough to host the meetings per the request of the CISPR and ISO USTAG Delegates. The meetings were a great success and a lot of progress was made toward the next revisions of the subject standards. The CISPR/D and ISO committees greatly appreciated the support of ETS Lindgren and their staff again for the meetings. The next international level meetings for these standards groups will be held in Frankfurt, Germany in October 2014.

The Chapter hosted the Reverberation Chamber, Open Area Test Site, and Anechoic Chamber (ROACH) Users Group meeting in Seattle, Washington in March 2014. The ROACH meetings are a “think tank” for key players in the EMC industry. Standards updates and new technologies regarding reverberation chamber, anechoic chamber, and TEM cell testing were presented. This meeting drew experts from around the world. The experts were there to make presentations and were also available for sidebar discussions. This meeting was a great opportunity for people in the EMC industry to talk “shop” with others in the industry. Pat Hall and I had a great time both during and after the formal meetings. Take a look at that pile of Pacific coast seafood.


Why SAE EMC Standards Are Being Withdrawn

Users of SAE EMC standards may have noticed that many of the SAE J551 and SAE J1113 standards have been withdrawn over the past few years. These withdrawn standards are no longer being revised and updated. As these standards are withdrawn, the base standard of the series (SAE J551-1 or SAE J1113-1) is updated to indicate that the particular SAE standard has been withdrawn. The base SAE standard also directs the user to reference the equivalent CISPR or ISO standard. Unfortunately, this results in having to purchase the more expensive international standard which replaced the SAE standard.

So, why are the SAE EMC standards being withdrawn?  

A few years ago, SAE noticed that some of the SAE EMC standards were, for the most part, technically identical to some equivalent CISPR and ISO (international) standards.  This became a concern of SAE as they do not want to get into copyright conflicts with the international standards bodies. Therefore, the SAE EMC committee was given the directive to start withdrawing any SAE standards which were technically identical to an international standard.

How did this similarity of SAE and International standards come to happen? 

The SAE EMC committee has developed many vehicles and component EMC standards over the years. The SAE standards were referenced mainly by the North American vehicle manufacturers in their corporate EMC standards. As the NA vehicle manufacturers evolved into Worldwide vehicle manufacturers, the trend to reference SAE standards in their corporate standards changed to the desire to reference international standards (if they existed) in their corporate standards.

Many of the same experts involved in the SAE EMC committee in the United States are also involved at the International Standards development level (CISPR and ISO standards). During meetings at the international level, the need to develop a standard to address a particular field issue may be discussed. If an SAE standard that addressed the issue already existed, then the international standards committee would use the SAE standard as the basis for the development of a new CISPR or ISO standard. Although the process to publish the international standard would take several years, the two standards (SAE and International) would eventually become very similar.

What is the long-term benefit of using international standards over the SAE standards?

Although it may seem like a burden to purchase a more expensive CISPR or ISO standard, the use of international standards does have its benefits. The test methods used to evaluate the EMC performance of vehicles (and vehicle modules) should be similar around the world to assure consistent performance. Products initially developed for sale in the North American market may also be more easily marketed worldwide when tested against international standards.  

Ultimately, standardization helps to assure consistent performance and reliability no matter where the product is being used. Using international standards to evaluate the EMC performance of products (when available), will help the product manufacturers to better achieve the consistent performance and reliability desired by the consumer. 

Do you have any questions about EMC Standard ChangesEMC Testing, or other related topics? Please share your comments or questions below and this week’s expert, Craig Fanning, will get back to you as soon as possible.   


CISPR 12 vs. CISPR 25 – Deciphering Standard Applications

Knowing which standard to use is very important when selecting a test method for evaluating a product. When selecting a specification, the user needs to take into consideration the purpose of the standard. A good example is CISPR 12 and CISPR 25. Both CISPR 12 and CISPR 25 include radiated emissions measurements for vehicles. However, there are a few fundamental differences that the user should take into consideration when determining which standard to use for vehicle emissions measurements.

The radiated emissions measurements of CISPR 12 are performed for the protection of off-board receivers. As an example, this test is done to assure that receivers are not affected when the vehicle drives them. This is very important when the vehicle drives past houses in a city (which are typically closer to the roadway). The radiated emissions measurements of CISPR 25 Clause 5 are performed for the protection of on-board receivers. This test measures the RF interference that is generated by the vehicle and then picked up by vehicle mounted antennas (such as the AM/FM radio or GPS antenna). This is a “RF Terminal” noise voltage measurement that is made at the point where the antenna would connect to the vehicle mounted receiver (such as the AM/FM Radio or Navigation System).

Another thing to consider is regulatory vs. engineering testing. CISPR 12 is used as a regulatory standard by many countries. CISPR 25 is an engineering standard that is used mainly by vehicle manufacturers and not for regulatory purposes. As a quick recap, the next time you are trying to figure out which test to perform when radiated emissions from a vehicle is the concern, ask yourself a couple of questions:

  • Question #1 – What are we trying to protect (off-board or on-board receivers)? 
  • Question #2 – Are we doing this for regulatory or engineering purposes?

Once those questions are answered, you will know if CISPR 12 or CISPR 25 (or both) are applicable.

Do you have any questions about CISPR Test Applications, EMC Standards, or other related topics? Please share your comments or questions below and our expert, Craig Fanning, will get back to you ASAP. 

Craig recently guest-presented a webinar, “EMC for Vehicles: Truly Mobile Electronics”, with Washington Labs on Thursday, August 15, 2013.  Please follow the link if you would be interested in learning more about other learning opportunities.