EMC Testing of Electric Vehicles

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February 23, 2022

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.

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