Bosch Views ‘Leap’ in BEV Technology

Bosch is claiming semiconductors made from silicon carbide could be the breakthrough in BEV performance the industry is waiting for.

The German automotive supply giant says the semiconductors it has developed will now help electro-mobility make a “great leap forward” improving performance and range of electrified powertrains. It claims the new chips could set the pace in power electronics, the command center for electric and hybrid vehicles.

The key claim for silicon carbide semiconductors is that they boast better electrical conductivity. This enables higher switching frequencies while also ensuring that much less energy is dissipated in the form of heat.

The chemistry starts with additional carbon atoms, which are introduced into the crystalline structure of the silicon used to manufacture semiconductors. In power electronics, they claim to ensure that 50% less energy is lost in the form of heat. This saving means more efficient power electronics and more energy for the electric motor and, therefore, better performance and battery range.

Claims include a range boost of 6% on a single battery charge. For automakers this could allow for smaller batteries for any given range cutting the price tag of the EVs to customers, one of the major barriers in consumer uptake.

Harald Kroeger, member of the Bosch board of management, said: “Thanks to our deep understanding of systems in e-mobility, the benefits of silicon carbide technology flow directly into the development of components and systems. Our semiconductor know-how helps us not only to develop new automotive functions and IoT applications but also to continuously improve the chips themselves.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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