Volkswagen Discusses Its “Golden Test Device” For Fast Charging

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 20

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Volkswagen Golf GTE

At Hannover Messe 2016, Volkswagen displayed what it calls the “Golden Test Device” (which seems like a terrible naming idea from VW all things considered) for electric cars. This device, as explained by Volkswagen, is capable of the following:

“The “Golden Test Device” is a standardized testing device to quickly and cost-effectively check the compatibility of new electric vehicles and charging stations produced by different manufacturers. A further aim is to provide an internationally accepted testing reference for connecting electric vehicles to charging stations.”

The device was developed as part of the SLAM research project, which is focused on “fast charging network for road axes and metropolitan areas.”

SLAM’s mission includes:

“…setting up a fund-based research network of up to 600 fast-charging stations to collect basic data for the research and analysis of suitable charging infrastructures according to the CCS-DC standard (combined charging system).”

SLAM partners are listed as:

  • Volkswagen
  • BMW Group
  • Daimler AG
  • Porsche AG
  • Deutscher Genossenschaftsverlag
  • EnBW
  • RWTH Aachen University a
  • Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT, Stuttgart)

Press release below:

Hannover Messe 2016: Volkswagen, a partner in the SLAM research project, unveils the “Golden Test Device”

  • A testing device to ensure standard conformity of interoperability between charging infrastructure and electric vehicles
  • “Golden Test Device” is considered a central building block of the SLAM project

Volkswagen is working with partners from industry and science on the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy’s SLAM research project (“Fast charging network for road axes and metropolitan areas”). The aim is to establish a research network focussing on plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles by means of quick charging stations on key traffic routes and intersection points to enable the onward journey. Such a charging infrastructure is an important step towards promoting electric mobility in Germany. A central component of SLAM is the “Golden Test Device” prototype co-developed by Volkswagen which will be unveiled at the Hannover Messe industrial trade show (25 – 29 April).

The “Golden Test Device” is a standardized testing device to quickly and cost-effectively check the compatibility of new electric vehicles and charging stations produced by different manufacturers. A further aim is to provide an internationally accepted testing reference for connecting electric vehicles to charging stations.

Volkswagen will be showing a prototype of the “Golden Test Device” at the joint stand of the United States Department of Energy/ANL and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission at the Hannover Messe. Volkswagen took into account all the technical requirements for vehicles and charging stations and defined various test scenarios in collaboration with national and international partners to develop the device.

SLAM’s mission includes setting up a fund-based research network of up to 600 fast-charging stations to collect basic data for the research and analysis of suitable charging infrastructures according to the CCS-DC standard (combined charging system). This includes simulation and location scenarios to forecast demand for new charging stations, developing business models for site operators and a uniform access and billing system.

Volkswagen’s project partners are the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Porsche AG, Deutscher Genossenschaftsverlag, EnBW, the RWTH Aachen University and the Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management (IAT, Stuttgart).

The SLAM project has a total budget of € 12.9 million and will receive support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to the extent of € 8.7 million by August 2017. The Federal government designated SLAM as one of seven “flagship projects in electric mobility” at the “National Conference for Electric Mobility” in Berlin in June 2015.

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20 responses to "Volkswagen Discusses Its “Golden Test Device” For Fast Charging"

  1. Anon says:

    Does this EV testing device, also cheat like the ones on their Diesels?

    1. mxs says:

      Yes, and you probably will be dumb enough to buy it …. judging by maturity of your posts.

  2. evcarnut says:

    Probably…….yes!

  3. Bill Howland says:

    Cord looks too wimpy to do any serious testing.

    1. Just_Chris says:

      It probably only test communication and response time. I am somewhat confused why this is needed, the car and charging station both run a number of tests to ensure that they are functioning and connected correctly.

      1. Aaron says:

        Historically, there have been some problems with compatibility. In 2012, Mitsubishi had a software update for the i-MiEV so it would work more consistently with the Clipper Creek EVSEs. Some LEAFs don’t like the GE WattStation. I’m sure there are others.

        1. Just_Chris says:

          I find that really strange, the J1772 and type 2 standards are really simple I guess I must be missing something. Do you know what the problem was?

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Truth be told, I think J1772 really sucks. It was especially bad for the Roadster – I had to modify my Schneider EVLink (30 amps) to make the thing even begin to work with it. The Roadster also wouldn’t work with the Legrande 16 amp thing, and about 1/2 of the Aerovironments wouldn’t work supposedly due to a crappy 5 volt supply in the AV, that is per the Tesla guys. Tesla supplied hardware in the Rav4EV was also problematic at times, in addition to melted connectors if the charge level was attempted at 40 amps.

            Or most anything BLINK would be horrible – the only thing worse was those horrid “PEP” stations which also were the highest price for the biggest junk. $2500 for 2 melted 30 amp charger points.

            I have always thought the concept of having a wallbox dumb in the first place since it really doesn’t do anything.

            Heaven forbid gas pumps were this way.. You’d go to the corner store:

            a). You can’t get gas since the pump can’t determine how empty the tank is

            b). You can’t get gas because the pump can’t determine whether you need gas, diesel, or what octane.

            c). The pump is incompatible with the weird color of your paint job. The thing is really that dumb.

            All you really need for safety is a disconnect, and at most, a ground fault detector.

            Disconnects are only legally required for high-current charging – so I’m not sure how any Tesla Supercharger is legal – since there is no disconnect for anyone reasonably to operate. You can attach a paper request to the corral and maybe in 2 weeks someone from Tesla will push the button inside, but as a practical matter the implementations are all illegal since they are all over 240 volts and all over 60 amps, either level triggering the requirement. From the NEC: “…For electric vehicle supply equipment rated more than 60 amperes or more than 150 volts to ground, the disconnecting means shall be provided and installed in a readily accessible location…” – I’ve seen no such thing at the supercharger near me. But I have seen a 70 amp level 2 wallbox in Syracuse with a co-located disconnect as is legally required. So why is one required for this power level but Tesla gets away scott free? But I’m just musing about how lousy the charging standards are, and how the ‘rules’ obviously don’t apply fairly to everyone. Incidentally this is more stringent a rule than in Canada, which doesn’t require the disconnect (yet).

            The only GOOD thing I can say about J1772 though, is that it is a standard. But it is the most crappily written one since both the car and the wall box can meet the ‘standard’ and the 2 things wont work together.

            1. FZ says:

              You misinterpret the purpose of the disconnect. The article 625 disconnect that you speak of is not for the general public to use; rather, it’s to permit the maintenance of the equipment.

              The only requirements for the disconnect is that it be “readily accessible” from the equipment (the supercharger cabinet inside the fence), meaning that there can’t be any inaccessible / locked doors between the supercharger cabinet and the disconnect. It must also be lockable when open (turned off). Tesla’s equipment does indeed support this inside the fence.

              1. Bill Howland says:

                Not so. The requirement is the disconnect is in a ‘readily accessible location’. It is in all units of such capacity with the exception of the Tesla Supercharging stations.

                But it is this kind of hair splitting that no doubt allows things to fall through the cracks.

                I have 2 disconnects on each wallbox I have in my house, regardless of capacity. While I perform all ‘maintenance’, the primary purpose of the disconnect is to shut things down should something go very wrong.

                Anyway, all electrical equipment must be disconnectable for maintenance regardless of size.

                Now there is some monkey business going on in the electrical industry for years that is just rather ‘accepted’ by everyone. For instance, Square D I-LINE switchgear (which Tesla coincidentally uses for their corrals), allows ‘hot’ installation of new breakers without de-energizing the main bus – even though there are all kinds of warning labels on the product *NOT* to do this, a Schneider Electric salesman admitted to me this is the main reason why people buy their products. But it doesn’t make it right, and its not precisely what I’m stating here.

                If the corral disconnect is going to be locked up, then the supercharger port that the user plugs into should be locked up too until the maintenance dude comes around to safely be able to shut the thing down should the need arise. But practically, that will never happen until the next ‘accident’.

  4. Marshal G says:

    If they’re all on the CCS “standard” then of course they should all work. What exactly are they testing?

    (Geez it took me 3 minutes just to type this. This text editor sux. Nothing makes my computer freeze up or crash like this website.)

    1. JakeY says:

      In the real world it doesn’t work like that. Even something relatively simple like J1772 can have compatibility problems because the grey areas the standard doesn’t specify.

  5. evcarnut says:

    They Blocked my “GOLDEN SHOWER” comment …What’s wrong with You Guys??

  6. CDAVIS says:

    “Golden Test Device is considered a central building block of the SLAM project…SLAM partners are…Institute of Human Factors and Technology Management…”
    ——-

    Lol…is this for real or some kind of Onion joke?

    If for real, will the Golden Test Device be painted gold so not to mistake it for an ordinary test device?

  7. chris says:

    Bill’s point a and b above hit the nail on the head on why infrastructure interoperability testing (via a golden/reference test device) is needed.

    If all manufactures successfully produce their cars to the standard, they should work with the golden device without issue.

    If anyone deviates, they can be put right / called out etc.

  8. Paul says:

    Could it be that the cheating of this test device works in such a way that the non-German car manufacturers will look bad when tested?

  9. Paul says:

    If I was Volkswagen I would indeed design and make my own test device for the authorities to use in the future, to be sure no more cheating can ever be detected.

  10. Priusmaniac says:

    Why don’t they test a megacharger that would be more interesting. All that bureaucratic stuff is just foot dragging.

    By the way a good X-prize would be one for the first megacharger that can charge a 100 KWh car battery at a 1000 KW rate (start rate and going down no more than the present supercharger curve is).

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      I just proposed the idea to X-prize since you can through their web site: http://www.xprize.org/

      1. Opbrid says:

        We’re charging buses at 900A, 750V (650kW)in Sweden…Rather large connector however.