On June 8 2022 His Majesty the King opened the new Elaad Testlab in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The King plugged in an electric truck and started officially the first charging session in the new lab. After a guided tour in which different types of tests were explained, there was an information market in the afternoon with different types of charging infrastructure and electric vehicles, including an electric airplane, electric motors, a passenger car that can also supply power back (V2G), electric buses, the solar car, an electric excavator and a state-of-the-art electric asphalt spreader. Hundreds of interested parties became acquainted with the new test lab of ElaadNL.
On his arrival, the King was accompanied by the mayor of Arnhem, Ahmed Marcouch, and the King’s Commissioner, John Berends. Director Onoph Caron of ElaadNL, State Secretary Heijnen of Infrastructure and Water Management and Deputy Witjes of the Province of Gelderland gave short speeches about their vision on the future of electric mobility. Caron thanked the Province of Gelderland, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the network operators for making this important step possible for ElaadNL. He also emphasized the importance of testing during the transition to electric transport. And not only for charging electric passenger cars, but also for larger and heavier electric vehicles such as electric buses and trucks and the associated charging infrastructure.
‘More and more vehicles are becoming electric: not only passenger cars, but also motorcycles, delivery vans, large buses, trucks and even heavy construction equipment, inland vessels and small aircraft. To be able to charge all these electric vehicles without any problems, tests are necessary, in addition to the type approval from the RDW. These tests can now be performed at our new test center in Arnhem.’
‘ElaadNL is the first in the world to test the interaction between trucks, charging stations and the power grid on this scale. A nice prelude to a new era of electric transport! The Netherlands is doing very well, we are leading the way in the world. Major international charging station manufacturers and platform providers come from here. All in all, 7,000 people in the Netherlands earn their living in this sector, a turnover of around 5 billion euros.’
Charging station manufacturers, charging station operators, suppliers of energy services, network operators, educational institutions and car manufacturers can use the test facilities of ElaadNL. Measuring equipment is available to measure the power quality and infrastructure is available to charge power in a short time and with high powers. The entire communication chain of vehicle, charging station, registration system and interaction with, for example, solar panels and local energy systems can also be examined in the testlab. In addition, the cyber security of this communication is an area of attention. Good cybersecurity of charging infrastructure is of great importance to guarantee the stability of the power grid.
Other matters that are tested in the lab are interoperability (can every vehicle charge without any problem with every charging station?), the connection of charging stations to the electricity grid (legal task of grid operators) and smart charging. With the latter, the speed and time of charging are adapted to, for example, the availability of locally generated electricity from sun and wind, the space on the electricity grid or to variations in electricity prices. During tests, it is checked whether the electric vehicle follows the steering signals correctly. Successful implementation of smart charging on a large scale is necessary in order to be able to charge large numbers of electric vehicles without problems in the near future.
View a photo impression of the opening of the Elaad Testlab.
The Elaad Testlab is part of the Connectr energy cluster. Within Connectr, various parties join forces by sharing knowledge and skills, testing new ideas and putting them into practice. The initiative consists of projects, shared facilities and a physical location – the Innovation Lab to be established at the Industrial Park Kleefse Waard in Arnhem. The test center contributes to the shared facilities as part of the Connectr energy cluster. Companies are already earning money from the energy transition there and even more companies can benefit from these shared facilities. That is the reason for a contribution from the province of Gelderland. Another important part are the hybrid learning-working environments. There, universities, colleges and ROCs work together on innovation issues for the business community, which are in line with the Climate Agreement.
ElaadNL is a knowledge and innovation center that researches and tests the possibilities for smart and sustainable charging of electric vehicles. It is an initiative of the joint Dutch network operators. Due to the impact on the power grid, it is crucial for grid operators to be able to test the charging of electric vehicles of all shapes and sizes. ElaadNL also received a gift from the joint grid operators on this festive day. Thanks to an extra contribution, an extra High Power EV Charging Test System will be installed in the new testlab.