Electric vehicle (EV) power electronics will be significantly more necessary over the course of the next ten years as a result of the BEV automobiles market’s accelerated growth. Powertrain design must now put drive cycle efficiency first, necessitating the use of high voltage wide bandgap (WBG) power electronics. The need for electric vehicle (EV) power electronics will skyrocket during the next ten years. This is particularly true given how quickly the market for BEV cars is expanding, with IDTechEx projecting a 15% CAGR globally. The weighted average battery capacity of BEVs is increasing globally, placing pressure on the supply chains for batteries and creating uncertainty. Drive cycle efficiency must therefore be prioritized in powertrain design, necessitating the use of high voltage wide bandgap (WBG) power electronics, such as SiC power devices. The new IDTechEx report “Power Electronics for Electric Vehicles 2023-2033” offers an in-depth examination of EV power electronics in addition to technological insights into the evolving semiconductor and package materials, including Si, GaN, and SiC power devices, die-attach materials, wire bonding, thermal management, and more. IDTechEx offers comprehensive projections for inverters, onboard chargers (OBC), and DC-DC converters segmented by voltage (600V, 1200V), including unit sales, GW, and US$ demand (Si, SiC, GaN).
The most recent generation of WBG materials, SiC and GaN, have replaced Si IGBTs, which for 20 years, including in EV power electronics, dominated the medium-to-high power device range. The design of new power devices, particularly the materials used for the packaging, will be significantly impacted as high voltage, high power-density modules operating at higher temperatures become the standard. The two key causes causing the move from 350-400V to 800V and beyond are improvements in motor cycle efficiency and higher power levels of DC fast charging (DCFC), like 350kW. DCFC compatibility is currently a very weak driver because to the low availability compared to AC chargers and the high costs associated with 800V infrastructure. According to the IDTechEx study “Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles and Fleets 2022-2032,” there were actually more than 50,000 DCFCs over 100kW in 2022 compared to 3 million AC charging stations. Despite being more optimal, moving to 800V is not always prompted by higher DCFC levels. Tesla is an excellent example because it has installed 250kW superchargers while continuing to run on its 350V base. The 800V case is more convincing in terms of effectiveness. Joule losses can be reduced as a result, and high voltage cabling can be made more compact. When paired with SiC MOSFETs, it frequently yields efficiency gains of 5–10%, which may enable the shrinking of the expensive battery, cost savings, or greater range of the vehicle, providing it a competitive edge.