Electric Vehicle and Battery Testing at the Electric Vehicle Test Facility 911917
The Electric Vehicle Test Facility (EVTF), operated by Electrotek Concepts, Inc., serves as a major research center to evaluate electric vehicles (EVs), batteries, and EV-component systems. The 9600 ft2 (890 m2) facility houses special test equipment and computer-controlled instrumentation which, with the adjoining one-mile (1.6 km) test track, is dedicated to EV testing.
These research and testing activities have been primarily supported by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the electric utility industry. Electric utility and consumer-related concerns were addressed in this effort. At present, the EVTF activities have been expanded to work with automotive and battery companies involved in introducing EVs in the 1998 time frame. Cooperative partnerships are being considered to assist EV development. Activities have included: (1) detailed performance testing of prototype and pre-production EVs; (2) cursory testing and technology evaluation of EVs; (3) roadability testing/consumer acceptance of EVs; (4) in-vehicle comparative life testing of different near-term battery types; (5) testing of ancillary systems such as battery pack thermal management systems, central-point watering, gas management, state-of-charge metering, and EV field test data acquisition systems; (6) battery charger testing, including characterization of rapid recharge pulse-current systems and their effect on battery life; (7) power quality testing of EV/utility interface; (8) magnetic field testing inside and outside the vehicle; and (9) testing of advanced battery systems such as sodium-sulfur (Na/S) batteries in EVs. Results of these evaluations provide information to fleet operators and users on which to base purchasing decisions.