Semiconductor innovations are shaping the future of EVs by contributing to battery advancements.
FREMONT, CA: Semiconductor advancements have far-reaching benefits influencing several industries. When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs) batteries, this trend is not much different. Until recently, electric vehicle batteries were large, costly as well as inefficient. However, these challenges are being addressed with the emergence of two new semiconductor materials: Gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC). These materials can be used in semiconductors and allow the components to operate at higher voltages as compared to the conventional silicon wafers.
Recently, the application of lithium-ion battery is on the rise. The advancement drove down prices to the point that electric vehicles became commercially viable for the first time in history, from the standpoint of both costs as well as performance. The next step that will define the next decade is utility-scale storage solutions. Thus, improvement in battery technology will directly impact the future of EV.
As the urgency of the climate crisis becomes even more prominent, semiconductor advancements in batteries hold the answer to transitioning to a renewable-fueled world. Wind and solar are certainly playing a major role in power generation, but without an effective energy storage technique, coal and natural gas will be needed for times when the wind isn’t howling, or the sun is not shining.
New semiconductor devices such as SiC are naturally suited to operate in higher voltage due to their higher bandgap requirements. The above property allows SiC-powered battery systems to require a much stronger electric field to overcome the bandgap. It enables the devices to withstand much higher voltage during operations. Thus, SiC-based EV batteries are increasingly being viewed by car manufacturers as a potential means to enhance operational efficiency.
Semiconductor advancements are directly responsible for the improvement in EV’s battery efficiency. Thus, major EV firms are eyeing to leverage semiconductor innovations to have an edge in the market.