9 June 2020
Yutong to deliver its first electric bus in China to use SiC in the powertrain
Chinese commercial vehicle manufacturer Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co Ltd (which specializing in electric buses) is using 1200V silicon carbide devices from Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA in a power module made by StarPower Semiconductor for its new high-efficiency electric bus powertrain system. Use of SiC-based power solutions enables faster, smaller, lighter and more powerful electronic systems for commercial electric vehicles (EVs).
As a power module supplier in the China market, StarPower provides a range of power modules. In 2017, it established its automotive module production headquarters in Shanghai.
The parties are working together to accelerate the commercial adoption of SiC-based inverters in electric bus applications. Upon rollout, Yutong will deliver its first electric bus in China to use silicon carbide in its powertrain.
“Cree and StarPower’s collective effort in driving the innovation of silicon carbide technology perfectly fits with Yutong’s high-end roadmap of powertrain products,” says Wei Wei, general manager of Yutong’s Electronic Devices business unit. “This collaboration ensures we are able to provide an even more efficient electric bus through the benefits of silicon carbide.”
Coupled with StarPower’s power module technology, the use of Cree’s SiC-based MOSFET in the powertrain will help to extend driving range while lowering weight and conserving space.
Cree is currently expanding its manufacturing capacity to support the expected growth of the EV market. In 2022 it plans to open the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility in New York while at the same time significantly expanding silicon carbide crystal growth capacity at its operations in North Carolina. The firm offers a portfolio of silicon carbide and gallium nitride power and RF devices through its Wolfspeed business unit.
“Cree’s technology is at the heart of the dramatic change underway in electric vehicles for the commercial and consumer markets, and we are committed to supporting the industry as it transitions to more efficient, higher-performing silicon carbide solutions,” says Cree’s CEO Gregg Lowe. “The work with StarPower and Yutong Group is a great example of how strong partnerships can deliver innovative solutions to the marketplace,” he adds. “Cree is continuing to expand capacity to meet market demands with our industry-leading power MOSFETs.”