Swiss electrical equipment-maker ABB has broken ground on a new research & development (R&D) and production facility for electric vehicles (EV) chargers in San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy.

To be built with an investment of $30m, the 16,000m² production facility is expected to begin operations by the end of next year.

ABB said that the new plant will have the capability to produce the entire portfolio of direct current (DC) EV battery chargers, from domestic systems to systems for installation in public areas and those dedicated for urban public transport.

The Swiss company further stated that the facility will be integrated with ABB Ability digital solutions, which will allow it to optimise the production of every individual product and interconnect automated warehouse management systems with the departments within the facility.

The automated equipment for assembling printed circuit boards and monitoring and testing systems will be connected to the factory information system.

The new investment from ABB follows its $10m investment in e-mobility headquarters and R&D centre built on the TU Delft Campus, Heertjeslaan, Netherlands, which will be launched later this year.

ABB Smart Power Division head Giampiero Frisio said: “Today represents a significant milestone in our e-mobility business. At ABB we have been driving progress in the sector for more than a decade and this new state of the art facility will contribute significantly to further advancing the global move towards zero-emission electric mobility.”

At the new facility R&D activities such as development and prototyping of new products will take place in 3,200m² of dedicated space. The R&D activities will focus on implementing new solutions, software and product life cycle management tools to fully integrate the activities with manufacturing, both internally and with external electronic manufacturing services.

The new facility will be powered by renewable energy to reduce carbon footprint

ABB also plans to have rooftop solar panels, optimised heating and cooling system and fleet of electric vehicles for employees, logistics, sales and service teams to help reduce the facility’s environmental footprint.

ABB E-mobility Infrastructure Solutions global business head Frank Muehlon said: “As global demand for sustainable transport continues to increase this new facility will ensure that ABB can meet that demand and remains the go to provider for our end to end e-mobility solutions.”