800V SiC inverter for in-wheel motors

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

McLaren Applied in the UK has partnered with in-wheel motor specialists Elaphe to boost the performance of electric vehicles.

McLaren is combining its IPG5 800V silicon carbide inverter with Elaphe’s range of in-wheel motors to reduce the size of the powertrain.

The inverter has a volume of 3.79L in size and weighs 5.5kg with variable switching frequencies up to 32kHz that enables engineers to use a faster, more efficient and lightweight drivetrains with 400kW peak, 250 kW continuous. It has been designed to ISO 26262 ASIL-D standards for direct drive applications.

“We believe efficiency and driving dynamics will play an important part in the next waves of electrification,” said Stephen Lambert, Head of Electrification at McLaren Applied.

“Our IPG5 800V inverter enables customers to run different switching frequencies. And with variable switching frequencies comes the ability to run higher speed motors that are smaller and lighter. By combining IPG5 with Elaphe’s high speed in-wheel motors, we’re not only making the EV powertrain more responsive and efficient, we’re making it more cost-effective too. That’s a compelling proposition.”

“Elaphe is on a mission to make cars safer, more convenient and more exciting to drive. This is why we are fully committed to removing all mechanical constraints and making the powertrain software defined,” said Dr. Gorazd Gotovac, CTO of Elaphe Propulsion Technologies.

“An efficient and highly responsive powertrain system is at the core of this, which is why McLaren Applied is the most natural partner and their IPG5 inverter is a perfect fit for our system. Combined with our motor control and powertrain control software it provides unprecedented controllability and efficiency.” 

“High switching frequencies and the ability to control the drivetrain more sensitively enables you to start programming different characteristics into the drivetrain. With this, we can introduce character that some might say is lacking from EVs,” said Lambert.


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