ABB has started construction of a new plant in the Italian city of San Giovanni Valdarno, serving as a global innovation centre and a production site for EV charging infrastructure.

The plant with an area of 16,000 square metres is planned to launch at the end of 2021. The US$30m investment in the new complex is ABB’s second such project. 

The company has previously invested US$10m in the establishment of an international research and development centre for electric mobility based on the campus of the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The official opening of the centre, which will be supplied with energy only from renewable sources, will take place this year.

The new plant will produce a full range of DC charging stations: devices for home use, stations for installation in public places and for servicing urban transport. In addition, new technological solutions will be developed for the further development of ABB in the field of electric mobility.

“This is an important milestone for our company,” said ABB Protection and Control Equipment Business Unit head, Giampiero Frisio.

“We’ve been driving progress in e-mobility for over a decade. The new complex is the company’s contribution to the development of this industry and another step towards the implementation of the concept of electric mobility with zero emissions.”

The new plant will be equipped with the ABB Ability TM digital solutions system . This will provide transparency and optimisation of production processes for each individual product and will allow combination of workshops with an automated warehouse management system. 

Machine tools for the automatic assembly of printed circuit boards and sets of control and measuring equipment will also be connected to the plant’s information system.

Research and development activities for the development and creation of prototypes of products will be carried out in a special building with an area of 3,200 m 2 . Developers will focus their efforts on implementing solutions, modern software and product lifecycle management tools. 

The company intends to reduce the impact of the plant on the environment by using renewable energy sources. Solar panels on the roof, an optimised heating and air conditioning system of the premises and a fleet of corporate electric vehicles for organising transportation and movement of employees, including sales and service specialists, are provided.

“The new facility will help us meet the growing global demand for greener vehicles and strengthen our position as a leading provider of a complete range of EV solutions,” said ABB Global Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Solutions business head, Frank Muehlon.

In the ten years since the company entered the infrastructure solutions market for electric vehicles, ABB has sold more than 14,000 DC charging stations with fast charging in more than 80 countries. 

In 2019, ABB received the Global E-mobility Leader Award for supporting the implementation of sustainable transport solutions globally.

The company recently announced the supply of charging solutions for the third generation of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.