The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) could help reduce carbon emissions and change the landscape of the automobile industry. Despite EVs being positively received, the barriers to consumer adoption have been anxiety around driving range, charging times, and affordability. Power electronics development has played a vital role in increasing powertrain efficiency and maximizing driving range for a given battery pack while decreasing charging times and supporting the drive for lower-cost EVs. Silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) are new materials that outperform silicon in high-power applications required for EVs, and STMicroelectronics is at the forefront of the development of these wide bandgap materials. SiC is known for its ability to enable EVs to gain 10-15% more range, recharge the battery twice as fast, and optimize the total cost of the electric powertrain. Lowering the cost makes EVs accessible to a larger proportion of the population. SiC technology also enables manufacturers to use smaller batteries, allowing them to design new car architectures through dramatic volume or space reductions.
SiC can also operate at higher voltages than silicon-based devices, making it ideal for the charging infrastructure supporting EVs. STMicroelectronics has been instrumental in developing SiC-based on 25 years of focus and commitment in R&D supported by a large portfolio of key patents. SiC devices are now deployed in millions of vehicles worldwide, with the number expanding every day. In addition to EVs, hydrogen fuel cells are also suitable for heavy-duty and long-distance transport, such as trucks, buses, and other long-service vehicles. STMicroelectronics’ ongoing commitment to EV manufacturers contributes to better energy efficiency and lower emissions for automobiles.