Mitsubishi develops integrated e-motor/inverter for EVs

  • 27-Mar-2012 04:24 EDT
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The new inverter's cylindrical shape allows it to be coaxially connected with the e-motor within a vehicle chassis.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. recently announced that it has developed a prototype electric vehicle (EV) motor system with a built-in silicon carbide inverter. The system is the smallest of its kind, the company claims, measuring half the dimensions of its existing EV motor system. It plans to commercialize the motor system after finalizing other technologies for motor/inverter cooling, downsizing, and efficiency. The newly developed cylinder-shaped inverter matches the diameter of the motor, enabling them to be connected coaxially within a chassis. This results in a substantial downsizing of the motor system, compared with the separate motors and inverters in Mitsubishi Electric's incumbent technology. While silicon chips have been widely used in power devices for inverter switching, silicon carbide is now recognized as a more suitable material for chips owing to its electrical characteristics, including a breakdown electric field that is 10 times greater compared to silicon chips. This enables thinner chips, which reduces electrical resistance by 50%, the company says.

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