Delphi, Cree team on silicon carbide devices for electric vehicles

Cree, Delphi team on silicon carbide
The use of silicon carbide devices is gaining for automotive applications, as Cree and Delphi have agreed to incorporate the technology in electric vehicle inverters. (Cree)

Delphi Technologies and Cree, Inc. have agreed to partner on silicon carbide semiconductor technology for future electric vehicles.

By coupling Cree’s silicon carbide-based MOSFET technology with Delphi Technologies’ traction drive inverters, DC/DC converters and chargers will extend driving range and deliver faster charging times for EVs, while lowering weight, conserving space and reducing cost. The Cree silicon carbide MOSFETs will initially be used in Delphi Technologies’ 800 Volt inverters for a global automaker, with production to ramp in 2022.

“Delphi Technologies is committed to providing pioneering solutions to vehicle manufacturers,” said Richard F. (Rick) Dauch, CEO of Delphi Technologies, in a statement. “Our collaboration with Cree will create a significant benefit to automakers as they work to balance meeting stricter global emissions regulations with consumer appetite for electric vehicles. Overcoming driver anxiety related to electric vehicle range, charging times and cost will be a boon for the industry.”

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RELATED: ST to supply Silicon-Carbide electronics for Alliance electric cars

Silicon carbide-based power solutions are gaining use in the automotive market, as the industry transitions from internal combustion engines to EVs. IHS estimates that by 2030, 30 million high-voltage electrified light vehicles will be sold, representing 27% of annual vehicle sales.

On Monday, STMicroelectronics announced it would supply silicon carbide electronics for on-board chargers in upcoming Alliance electric vehicles.

Inverters are considered one of the highest-value electrification components, and their efficiency impacts many aspects of vehicle performance.

“Cree’s technology is at the heart of the dramatic change underway in EVs, and we are committed to supporting the automotive industry as it transitions from silicon-based designs to more efficient, higher performing silicon carbide solutions,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree, in a statement. “This partnership with Delphi Technologies will help drive the adoption of silicon carbide in the automotive sector.”

Delphi Technologies’ new silicon carbide inverter operating at 800 Volts will provide vehicle engineers with additional flexibility to optimize other powertrain systems. Options include more range or a smaller battery; ultra-fast charging or smaller, lighter, cheaper cables;  and greater harvesting of vehicle kinetic energy when braking, further extending vehicle range.

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