The German automotive supplier Bosch will launch silicon carbide automotive chips which the company hopes will address “range anxiety,” which often turns the car-buying public away from electric vehicles.
A recent Reuters report says that silicon carbide conducts better than typical silicon, which means the motor management chips in battery-powered automobiles can have higher switching frequencies and run cooler.
A Bosch board member said that these semiconductors bring a 6% increase in vehicle range.
The company aims also to heighten its position in Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, which decide how to manage sensor inputs, according to the report.
The first production of the new chips will begin in Germany in 2021.
Here’s more from Reuters:
“The average car contains chips worth $370, according to industry estimates, but that figure rises by $450 for emission-free electric vehicles. Another $1,000 will be packed into the future self-driving cars, making semiconductors a growth opportunity in a car industry struggling with stagnant sales.
“Throw in $100 for infotainment features, and the typical car will pack more than $1,900 in semiconductors as technology advances and as features now seen only in luxury vehicles spread to mass-market models, Bosch reckons.”
Could This Be Used in Commercial Fleets?
The obvious question for integrators — or those in the trades at large — is, “will this impact the pragmatism of using electric vehicles in commercial fleets?”
As I’ve noted before, waste, and energy efficiency, and carbon output is a big problem in Pro AV. So could the industry as a whole cut down on its carbon footprint with electric vehicles, especially if it is possible to give them increased range?
Obviously, when it comes to commercial fleets, there are other concerns surrounding electric cars besides electric vehicle range (power/torque come to mind). But this could be another step which makes them more viable for your business, either now or in the future.