[CONTENU PARTENAIRE] American company Keysight Technologies manufactures test and measurement equipment and software. This multinational company has more than 80 years of experience in the test and measurement industry and more than 30 years in the automotive field. Below, Thierry Locquette, President of Keysight Technologies France, tells us about a key challenge facing us in the coming years: testing batteries for electric vehicles.
Can you introduce Keysight Technologies?
Keysight provides design, emulation and test solutions that enable engineers to design new technologies in communications and industrial ecosystems, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductors and general electronics.
With over 80 years of experience, Keysight is the world’s leading supplier of test and measurement. We have more than 32,000 customers in more than 100 countries and generated $5.4 billion in revenue for our 2022 fiscal year.
Listed on the New York Stock Exchange since 2014, Keysight Technologies is itself a subsidiary of Agilent Technologies, which was created in 1999 as a spin-off from HP.
Do you see a big change in the automotive industry?
Yes, many: we can give examples of changes related to national or European sovereignty, changes related to re-industrialization, global warming… But there is one industry that will change completely in the coming years, and that is the car! After more than a century of heat engine cars, the electric age is coming. This change is accelerating after the European Union announced the end of combustion engines by 2035. Electric cars used to make up about 1% of sales. Now they are between 15% and 20%, and major car manufacturers are making plans to reach 100% sales in time.
This transformation implies a very strong change in the market, starting with builders : opening new factories or converting existing factories, recruitment, training, establishing new partnerships… One of the biggest challenges is in the field of batteries.
For now, the vast majority of batteries are of Chinese origin. gold, By 2030 or 2035, about 90% should be European. Thus, the creation of these gigafactories (European battery factories) is at the rate of two or three per European country.
In France, they are located in the north, with research centers in Grenoble and Bordeaux. In addition to their numbers, our batteries should be selected for their quality: cheaper, greener, safer… They will also not be allowed to travel more than 400 kilometers, load in less than half an hour, and supply metals from foreign countries. The issue of their recycling should also be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Chargers are also added to this challenge: currently 10 times more chargers need to be installed in Europe, and therefore thousands of interactive and fast models need to be produced every day. Not forgetting the electricity grid that will have to adapt to thousands of simultaneous demands across Europe…
How do you support all these changes?
Keysight Technologies is your partner of choice. We provide the latest innovations in design and testing solutions to help designers and manufacturers in the automotive industry create high-quality, high-performance products, while reducing safety risks throughout the life of the vehicle. This includes battery test systems for cell, module and pack level testing, charging function and interoperability testing and renewable energy testing.
Our experience allows us to test the charger and battery at all levels to ensure that everything complies with European standards. These tests of the charging station and battery (with cells, modules and packs) are necessary to ensure maximum safety and above all:
● Avoid risk of electric shock, fire or explosion;
● Make sure the charger connectors are compatible with all vehicles;
● Make sure the battery can be charged in a few minutes. That is, benefit from significant upstream power while maintaining safety standards.
Among our customers, we also mention the Swedish company Scania, one of the world leaders in trucks. The German manufacturer BMW also uses our solutions to test electric batteries, their autonomy and ensure their compliance and interoperability with European standards.
What do you think are your biggest challenges right now?
All test and measurement providers face the same problem: has sufficient financial capacity to increase production capacity. Another challenge is developing new test products to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. Therefore, our equipment must be modular in order to avoid obsolescence. In addition, reducing the battery charging time is a big challenge, and this is only possible with a strong investment in R&D.
Beyond these technological challenges are energy challenges. Indeed, the price of energy is rising. Within a year, megawatt-hours have increased 10 times. Hence, the development of new products that offer maximum energy efficiency.
On the other hand, electrical tests should be accompanied by thermal tests to ensure that the batteries will function regardless of the climatic conditions. Keysight has established close relationships with major European climate chamber manufacturers to provide the best possible service to our common customers.
Do you have any last words?
As with any technological revolution, the electrical testing market is likely to consolidate, with players disappearing or being acquired. In order to stand out from the competition, it is necessary to innovate and present production forces in strong development, to meet the massive and above all unprecedented need.
This innovation will serve our customers to develop and test their batteries to meet the market’s expectations: not paying more than a thermal car, not having to charge the battery every 300 or 400 km. t wait too long while loading… The areas of concern are vast and we are only at the beginning of this change.
This content was developed with SCRIBEO. The editorial staff of BFMBUSINESS did not participate in the preparation of this content.