McLaren launches silicon carbide inverter to support next-generation EVs

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McLaren Applied has revealed its new silicon carbide inverter, which is set to support the next generation of electric vehicles by enabling faster charging, higher efficiency and longer range.

IPG5 is an 800V Silicon Carbide (SiC) inverter that supports ultra-fast charging and delivers high power density to enhance powertrain efficiency.

IPG5 can power electric motors to over 350 kW peak, 250 kW 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 company is advancing closer to full production of Inverter Platform Generation 5 (IPG5) by 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 800V architecture supports the next generation of electric vehicles, offering lighter electric cabling and ultra-fast charging. Through enabling a significant increase in switching frequency, the SiC technology 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.

For systems integrators, at 3.79L, IPG5 packages easily due to cutting-edge volumetric power density – a cost effective contrast to conventional inverters.  The inverter can be offered without a case, which offers huge flexibility when packaging an off-the-shelf component into a custom system.

Based in Woking, UK, McLaren Applied 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. McLaren Applied has been pushing the boundaries of inverter technology for over 10 years, through high-performance automotive and motorsport applications, culminating in a fifth-generation inverter that takes cutting-edge development from Formula 1 and optimizes the technology for the automotive market.

McLaren Applied is currently delivering prototype units to customers ahead of volume production from 2024.

Nick Fry, non-executive chairman at McLaren Applied comments, “The launch of the IPG5 inverter is a huge milestone for McLaren Applied. We’re delighted to advance to the next stage of development and to begin delivering prototypes to customers. 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.”

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