Wide bandgap semiconductors make increasing inroads to electromobility

Market news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Consumer fears continue to put a massive brake on the breakthrough of electromobility. The most important obstacles to the acceptance of electrically powered vehicles continue to be range anxiety and charging anxiety. Car manufacturers are now increasingly responding to this by integrating components more closely and, above all, using advances in power electronics to increase the efficiency of the powertrain. To shorten the charging times of electric vehicles, high-voltage grids with 800 volts and more are the means of choice. Silicon carbide (SiC) is one of many wide bandgap technologies being used to improve efficiency in switching power to drive electric motors, receiving charge from on-board chargers and converting DC power.

These are some of the developments discussed in Strategy Analytics’ Electric Vehicle Service (EVS) reports: Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles: Increasing Use of 800 Volts, Integrated Designs and the Use of Silicon Carbide.

“As automakers transition their business to all-electric vehicles, competition between them is intensifying,” says Kevin Mak, Principal Analyst in Strategy Analytics’ Global Automotive Practice (GAP).

Wide bandgap technologies, in particular SiC, enable motor inverters to operate at higher junction temperatures, reducing thermal management requirements. Higher power switching performance enables smaller inverters, allowing electric traction motors to spin faster and deliver higher torque, improving battery electric powertrain performance. Wide bandgap technologies also allow for component downsizing, which translates into improved powertrain size, weight and performance, while allowing for greater flexibility in system integration. Another important benefit of 800-volt technology: it allows car manufacturers to use lighter cables.

Related articles:

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SiC suppliers position for automotive at PCIM

ST taps EU Chips act for SiC wafer plant

Solid state SiC fast charger runs up to 400kW

Vitesco, Infineon join forces for SiC power semiconductors

Wolfspeed opens worl’s largest 200mm SiC fab

SiC boost for Bosch


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