AES Semigas


7 March 2022

McLaren Applied unveils 800V SiC inverter for fast charging and powertrain efficiency in EVs

At the Future Propulsion Conference (FPC 2022) at the UK’s National Motorcycle Museum on 2 March, McLaren Applied of Woking, UK, says that it is advancing closer to full production of its Inverter Platform Generation 5 (IPG5) 800V silicon carbide (SiC) inverter.

Moving to the engineering verification phase, McLaren Applied is now supplying production intent design hardware to customers and partners for continued development and testing. Harnessing IPG5, OEMs can develop vehicles with greater ranges, faster charging times and better acceleration, at a comparable cost with improved sustainability benefits, the firm says.

McLaren Applied says that it is actively supporting the increasing demand for electrification and high-efficiency power electronics applications in the automotive market, as well as the commercial vehicle, aerospace and marine sectors. It has been developing inverter technology for over 10 years, through high-performance automotive and motorsport applications, culminating in a fifth-generation inverter that takes development from Formula 1 and optimizes the technology for the automotive market.

IPG5 can power electric motors to over 350kW peak (250kW continuous) at a weight and volume of 5.5kg and 3.79L, respectively. It has been designed for automotive applications (including direct drive) that are capable of operating high-speed motors efficiently and adhere to ISO 26262 ASIL-D standards.

The 800V architecture supports the next generation of electric vehicles (EVs), offering lighter electric cabling and ultra-fast charging. Through enabling a significant increase in switching frequency, SiC allows the use of a faster, more efficient and lightweight drivetrain, including inverter, motor and battery systems. It also switches more efficiently than conventional inverters, producing less heat and enabling a smaller cooling system – all of which reduce the weight and cost of the drivetrain. 

The increased drivetrain efficiency allows a reduction in battery size – typically the most expensive single component in a battery electric vehicle, which delivers further cost, weight and sustainability benefits, says McLaren Applied.

“We’re delighted to advance to the next stage of development and to begin delivering prototypes to customers [ahead of volume production from 2024],” says non-executive chairman Nick Fry. “Across the industry, we’re seeing rapid progression of technology – if OEMs want to remain competitive and deliver vehicles with greater ranges, faster charging times and better acceleration, they must make the transition to an 800V silicon carbide architecture,” he believes.

Strategic agreement to develop and supply drivetrain components for BAK’s Kincsem Hyper GT and SUV

McLaren Applied has announced a collaboration with BAK Motors (the Swiss-based parent company to new luxury automotive brand Kincsem) to develop and supply drivetrain components (including inverters and motors) for the Kincsem Hyper GT and SUV – said to be the world’s first nanophotonic light-activated solid-state hydrogen hybrid hyper-car. BAK selected the IPG5 800V silicon carbide inverter for its powertrain efficiency and performance improvements, says McLaren Applied.

The Kincsem Hyper GT will pair McLaren Applied’s drivetrain technology with a BAK-RICARDO hydrogen-powered hybrid engine, combining the instant torque and acceleration of an e-motor with the high-revolution scream of a hydrogen internal combustion engine. The same power unit will also feature in the forthcoming Kincsem Hyper-SUV.

The Kincsem Hyper-GT will be designed, engineered and built in Britain, with first production of the road-legal version commencing in 2024.

Tags: Power electronics SiC


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