Hitachi Energy has announced the global introduction of RoadPak, an electric vehicle power semiconductor module. The silicon carbide (SiC) technology used in the semi-conductor module is touted to give high levels of power density for faster charging and the lowest possible power loss for the greatest feasible driving range.
Power semiconductors are the heart of the inverter, which converts DC power from the vehicle’s battery into AC power that runs the motor. It is critical to be dependable. “Over the lifetime of the vehicle, RoadPak chips are designed to work faultlessly for more than four million start-stop cycles,” Hitachi said.
“RoadPak is the culmination of Hitachi Energy’s more than 100 years of power electronics innovation and market leadership,” said Niklas Persson, Managing Director of Hitachi Energy’s Grid Integration business. “It builds on our commitment to push e-mobility to the next level and achieve a more sustainable energy future for all, together with our Grid-eMotion Flash and Fleet EV charging solutions.”
Many EV manufacturers were tested
The RoadPak semi-conductor module, which has been tested by a number of EV manufacturers as well as India’s Mahindra Racing Formula E team, is available in both 750 and 1,200 volt levels, according to Hitachi. This makes it suitable for a wide range of electric vehicles, including conventional and luxury cars, commercial vehicles, buses, agricultural electric vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, and high-performance racing cars.
“Over the previous two years, we’ve had the luxury of flying this new power module on our Mahindra M7Electro and M8Electro racing cars, which has shown to dramatically boost performance and reliability,” Mahindra Racing CEO and Team Principal Dilbagh Gill said.
Hitachi Energy’s SiC-based power semiconductor products, including RoadPak, are manufactured by two different companies. The company manufactures its own SiC chips in Switzerland and is supported by an independent SiC chip manufacturer in the United States, ensuring supply in terms of volume and geographic availability.
The traction converter systems that power high-speed electric vehicles rely on Hitachi Energy’s sophisticated semiconductor technology. The electric vehicle market is exploding. Electric vehicle sales increased by 40% in 2020 and nearly doubled in 2021.