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9 September 2013

US DOE awards $2m to develop SiC and GaN based traction drive systems for hybrid-electric vehicles

A collaborative team led by Arkansas Power Electronics International Inc (APEI) and including Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America Inc, GaN Systems Inc, the University of Arkansas’ National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission, and the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has received a $2m US Department of Energy (DOE) award. The award is one of thirty-eight new projects across the US in a $45m effort to develop new technologies that will reduce transportation costs and improve fuel efficiencies. The team will develop new electric motor traction drives for hybrid electric vehicles, with technology based on emerging silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors.

“By partnering with universities, private industry, and our national labs, the Energy Department is helping to build a strong 21st century transportation sector that cuts harmful pollution, creates jobs, and leads to a more sustainable energy future,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “By improving the fuel economy of our cars and trucks, we can save families and businesses money at the pump and better protect our air and water.”

“Our motor drive technology reduces power losses by more than 50%, and we can reduce the size and weight of the motor drive electronics by up to 90%,” said APEI Inc president and CEO Alex Lostetter. “These improvements lead to significant savings in vehicle cost, increases driving distances, and reduces fuel expense. We’re very excited to be working with Toyota to get this technology into the next generation of Prius hybrid-electric vehicles. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

Tags: APEI GaN Systems Hybrid-electric vehicles SiC GaN


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