STMicroelectronics supplies SiC for Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi EV charging
STMicroelectronics has been selected to supply silicon-carbide (SiC) power electronics to Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi for advanced on-board chargers (OBCs) in its next-generation of electric vehicles (EVs).
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi plans to use the SiC power technology to build more efficient and compact high-power OBCs that will reduce battery-charging time and enhance driving range. ST will provide design-in support to help maximise OBC performance and reliability. It will also supply Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi with associated components, including standard silicon devices.
EVs need an OBC to handle charging from standard roadside charge points, when a dedicated home-charging system or super-charger is not available. The time to recharge is determined by the OBC power rating and the units in today’s EVs have ratings between about 3kW and 9kW.
As the leading EV brand, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi has already created a 22kW OBC for the Renault Zoe model, which can fully recharge the battery in about one hour. Now, by upgrading the OBC to leverage the superior efficiency and small size of ST’s SiC power semiconductors (MOSFETs and rectifier diodes), Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi can further reduce the size, weight, and cost while increasing energy efficiency to make future models even more attractive for users and beneficial for the environment. The new, compact, and high-power OBC gives designers more freedom to style the vehicle and optimize packaging, weight distribution, and vehicle drivability.
Philippe Schulz, the Alliance’s VP Design Electric & Hybrid Powertrain said: “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.”
Marco Cassis, president, Sales, Marketing, Communications and Strategy Development, STMicroelectronics, said: “SiC technology can help the world by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and increasing energy efficiency. … 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.”
The OBCs with ST’s SiC are scheduled to enter volume production in 2021.