McLaren Pairs its Performance BEV Inverter to In-Wheel Tech

McLaren is turning to in-wheel motors to marry with its high-performance inverters to power future BEV applications.

The iconic Formula One brand, now under the banner McLaren Applied, has teamed up with in-wheel motor specialists Elaphe to help other automakers boost overall BEV performance. The British engineering and technology pioneer is combining its next-generation IPG5 800V silicon carbide inverter with Elaphe’s range of in-wheel motors claiming to create a highly compact and efficient system.

At just 3.79 liters in size and weighing 12.1lbs, the 800V silicon carbide inverter claims to power electric motors to more than 400kW (536bhp) peak, 250kW (335bhp) continuously. Derived from decades of innovation in top tier automotive and motorsports applications, McLaren’s IPG5 claims to offer variable switching frequencies and good motor response. The variability in switching frequency up to 32kHz enables engineers to use a faster, more efficient and lightweight drivetrain.

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

Dr Gorazd Gotovac, CTO of Elaphe Propulsion Technologies, added: “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. 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.”

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

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