Volkswagen Group of America this month launched at its Maricopa, Arizona global test center an extensive charging station for testing new EVs and evaluating battery and charging performance under extreme hot weather conditions.
The new $9 million facility, built between early 2019 and February 2020 in partnership with Electrify America, recently received the final certification and will be used for all the brands of the Group.
"The 50-space charging station is located at VWGoA’s global test facility in Maricopa, AZ—one of two worldwide, Group-wide hot-weather test facilities—and will allow the charging of EVs in weather conditions up to 120 degrees. "
The station is ready for 50 cars and currently offers 25 DC fast chargers (including the 150 kW and 350 kW ultra-fast chargers), as well as 10 AC Level 2 charging stations to simulate home/work charging. There is space for more equipment. Inductive charging pads will be installed in the future.
DC chargers are equipped with three standard connector types:
- two versions of the CCS standard:
CCS1 for North America and a few other countries
CCS2 for Europe and most of the rest of the world, aside from North America, China and Japan,
- as well as the Chinese GB/T plug. No CHAdeMO it seems.
The cool thing about the station is that 16 stalls have a remote-controlled canopy to simulate full sun and shaded conditions. There is also a small building for engineers and test drivers.
"Sixteen parking spots are located under a remote-controlled canopy, which uses awnings to simulate full sun and shaded conditions. The charging station also features state-of-the-art safety controls including a battery temperature monitoring system, developed in-house, that is the basis of the world’s first battery cooling system designed to prevent overheating damage in a serious emergency. A small building in the center of the charging station will allow engineers and test drivers to safely evaluate all testing data without enduring the extreme heat of the Arizona desert."
Gallery: Volkswagen Group of America charging station at Arizona global test center
Dr. Wolfgang Demmelbauer-Ebner, Chief Engineering Officer for Volkswagen’s North American Region said:
“The opening of this charging station means one of the most sophisticated EV testing facilities in the world with some of the toughest conditions on earth will be right here in the United States. It reaffirms not only Volkswagen’s commitment to the U.S. market as we bolster our engineering expertise here but also our drive towards an electric future.”