EM interference tests crucial for modern vehicles
After testing comes refinement and more testing
Worried that your car will cause problems with traffic lights or stop working when you drive under powerlines? Of course not, and it’s because automakers undergo extensive testing to make sure it’s not an issue. Testing that Rimac has just completed on the prototype version of their C_Two electric supercar.
ElectroMagnetic Compatibility or EMC testing is serious business, and it’s testing that automakers have been doing for decades, if mostly unnoticed. It’s especially important for electric cars, not just for the worry of the electronics of the cars being affected by EM interference, but for the worry of them interfering with other devices. If you’ve ever wondered why loads of EVs don’t have AM radio, it’s because of that interference with radio reception.
EMC testing measures the electromagnetic emissions of a vehicle and how they react to inputs from outside influences ranging from power lines to your mobile phone. Without this testing, both your vehicle and the things around it could fail to work. In modern cars, it could mean unexpected inputs to the accelerator or even braking system.
EU standard ECE R10 is the test for EM emissions, and the Rimac C_Two was tested at service provider SLG in Germany to make sure it performed up to code.
Sealed off from outside interference in a special room, the C_Two is driven at various speeds and subjected to electromagnetic radiation from 20 MHz to 20 GHz. At set intervals, electric components like the AC, lights, and wipers are turned on and off to ensure they perform as expected. Even different drive modes are tested to ensure the inverters and power distribution electronics are behaving correctly.
Test complete, the car is disassembled and each component is assessed looking for areas of improvement. The car is then reassembled and tested again. Rimac said that the test “was better than expected for the standardized norms” but that there is still some refinement ahead. Which means more rounds in the test chamber until everything is just right and interference-free.