E-mobility: towards SiC adoption

Product Related

“There are basically three converter types in an electric car: the main inverter, DC/DC and OBC .” asserts Ana Villamor, Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group“The main inverter is the largest market among the different converters due to the higher power levels, leading also to the highest content of power semiconductors.”
Thus, the main inverter market is expected to reach US$19.5 billion by 2026, representing 67% of the total EV/HEV converter market, with a CAGR of 26.9%.
Regarding the power semiconductor market, its value is expected to triple from 2020 to 2026, driven by a major technology battle between IGBT and SiC modules. Indeed, SiC modules are presently still about x3 the cost of a 650V IGBT module, but this difference will shrink when larger volumes are produced, with the transition to 8-inch wafers, and with the penetration of 1,200V devices for higher battery voltages.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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In this context, Yole investigates disruptive technologies and related markets in depth, to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities.
Released today, the Power Electronics for E-Mobility 2021 report provides an overview of the main global drivers for vehicle electrification as well as drivers for each vehicle electrification approach. Il also analyzes the changes in business models, synergies with other EV/HEV business segments and other applications outside of EV/HEV. Including market trends and forecasts, supply chain, technology trends, technical insights and analysis, take away and outlook, this study delivers an in-depth understanding of the ecosystem and main players’ strategies.
What are the economic and technological challenges of the EV/HEV industry? What are the key drivers? Who are the suppliers to watch, and what innovative technologies are they working on? What are the key technology trends that will influence the power electronic system and component choice in the future? What are the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the EV/HEV industry?
Yole presents today its vision of the power electronics for e-mobility industry.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new Power Electronics for E-Mobility 2021 report, the EV/HEV supply chain continues to be impacted by the increased demand and technology trends. Although the leading semiconductor manufacturers for EV/HEV remain the same as for other power applications. It includes Infineon Technologies, STMicroelectronics, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, ON Semiconductor. Other companies, Tier 1s, OEMs, power semiconductor manufacturers, and pure module newcomers, are now offering power modules for EV/HEV. A similar situation occurs with the battery design and manufacturing, where OEMs such as Tesla and GM are further trying to control their supply chains.
According to Milan Rosina, Principal Analyst, Power Electronics & Batteries at Yole: “Competition at OEM level has also opened two main fronts: on the one hand, there are the traditional OEMs with established markets and known brands that are transforming their business towards electric vehicles. On the other hand, pure EV OEMs are popping up in the different regions of the world (such as NIO, Rivian, Rimac, Xpeng, and Hozon), some of which are rapidly increasing their volumes year after year (lead by Tesla)”.
The new car models being launched often offer better performance/cost ratio, and this has led to a continuous reshaping of the top 10 vehicle sales.

SiC is now walking the EV/HEV red carpet. Over the last couple of years (and especially since Tesla introduced SiC in their Model 3 main inverter), there has been much noise around SiC adoption in EV/HEV. But not all converters or all types of electrification are suitable for this expensive material. Without a doubt, BEV is the winner due to the requirements of a long driving range and fast charging time (km driven by charge time). Therefore, the increased cost of the converter is repaid, as the efficiency of the converter will improve, allowing battery savings. It is no surprise then that the use of SiC in the main inverter has become a common goal for the leading OEMs, with players such as Daimler and Hyundai soon including it in their main inverters. Who will be next?
Today, there is already a good portfolio of SiC devices with SiC dies coming from Infineon Technologies, Cree (Wolfspeed), and STMicroelectronics. Many semiconductor players are targeting SiC modules for EV applications, and the SiC module market is expected to reach 32% of the total EV/HEV semiconductor market by 2026.

In this context, Yole, its partner System Plus Consulting and Wolfspeed bring together valuable speakers for the Power SiC – Life in The Fast Lane as SiC Penetration Accelerates – Webcast on March 4, 2021. This event will be presented by Dieter Liesabeth, Director Strategic Business Development Automotive at Wolfspeed, Amine Allouche, Technology and Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting and Ezgi Dogmus PhD, Team Lead Analyst in Compound Semiconductor & Emerging Substrates in the Power & Wireless Division at Yole.
“Wolfspeed is tirelessly working to implement an ecosystem around SiC based products for the electronic power industry,” explains Dieter Liesabeth from Wolfspeed“We are delighted to help create a cleaner planet by enabling efficient renewable energy systems and electrical vehicles with more range and lower consumption to reduce energy waste. I’m looking forward to sharing our view of the future with the audience.”
Register on i-Micronews.

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