STMicroelectronics is to be the key supplier of silicon-carbide (SiC) power electronics to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for advanced on-board chargers (OBCs) in its upcoming electric vehicles such as the infiniti QX (above).
ST will provide design-in support to boost OBC performance and reliability, as well as additional components such as standard silicon devices. The OBCs with ST’s devices are scheduled to enter volume production in 2021.
“As the pioneer and global leader in zero-emission electric vehicles, our objective remains to be the number one provider of mainstream mass-market and affordable EVs around the world,” said Philippe Schulz, Alliance VP Design Electric & Hybrid Powertrain. “The small size, light weight, and high energy efficiency we can achieve using ST’s SiC technology in our OBC, combined with the increased battery efficiency, will enable us to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by reducing charging times and extend the range of our EVs.”
“SiC technology can help the world by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and increasing energy efficiency. ST has successfully developed manufacturing processes and established a portfolio of qualified, commercialized SiC products also in automotive-grade version," said Marco Cassis, President, Sales, Marketing, Communications and Strategy Development, STMicroelectronic. "Building on our long cooperation, we are now working with Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to realize the many advantages SiC can bring to EVs. Moreover, this commitment helps ensure success by increasing the economies of scale to deliver superior-performing SiC-based circuits and systems that are also cost-effective and affordable.”
EV charging time is determined by the OBC power rating, which is currently 3kW to 9kW. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has already created a 22kW OBC for the Renault Zoe model, which can fully recharge the battery in about one hour. Upgrading the OBC with ST's devices will reduce the size, weight, and cost of the charger while increasing energy efficiency.