Electric car: ZF signs contract for the supply of silicon carbide semiconductors

ZF has found a long-term partner to supply microchips for its power electronics. From 2025 onwards, the supplier will also be purchasing silicon carbide modules from STMicroelectronics, among others. Over a few years, ST is to deliver these modules in tens of millions of units for the modular inverters for electric cars, for which ZF plans series production from 2025 onwards.

ZF is one of the largest suppliers to the automotive industry and speaks of an order volume for electromobility of currently more than 30 billion euros by 2030. “We need several reliable suppliers for silicon carbide chips for this volume,” says ZF. ST will manufacture the silicon carbide chips at manufacturing facilities in Italy and Singapore and package the chips into modules called STPAK and test them in Morocco and China.

“Modular inverter” means that ZF connects together the number of identical inverters needed to meet the power requirements of the relevant car model without having to change their design. From 2025, ZF will be supplying a European car manufacturer with this power electronics component.

In an electric car, the inverter controls the flow of energy between the battery and the electric motor, regardless of whether the motor consumes power from the battery while driving or feeds it back when braking. Components made of silicon carbide reduce the internal resistance in the inverter and thus increase efficiency.

ZF will not only sell its inverters to electric car manufacturers, but also to producers of wind power and photovoltaic systems. The supplier thus covers the entire chain of regenerative electricity from generation to the consumer.


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