Wolfspeed to supply General Motors (GM) with silicon carbide to extend the range of its electric cars

By increasing electric vehicle (EV) range GM are helping to reduce range anxiety and speed up the transition to zero-emissions cars

By
Ian Osborne
October 6, 2021
Category:
EV Biz

General Motors (GM) and Wolfspeed have announced a strategic supplier agreement to develop and provide silicon carbide power device solutions for GM’s future electric vehicle programs. Wolfspeed’s silicon carbide devices will enable GM to install more efficient electric vehicle (EV) propulsion systems that will extend the range from a single charge of its rapidly expanding electric car portfolio.

The silicon carbide will specifically be used in the integrated power electronics contained within GM’s Ultium Drive units in its next-generation electric vehicles. As a part of the agreement, GM will participate in the Wolfspeed Assurance of Supply Program (WS AoSP), which is intended to secure domestic, sustainable and scalable materials for electric car production.

Shilpan Amin, GM vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, said: “Our agreement with Wolfspeed represents another step forward in our transition to an all-electric future.

“Customers of EVs are looking for greater range, and we see silicon carbide as an essential material in the design of our power electronics to meet customer demand. Working with Wolfspeed will help ensure we can deliver on our vision of an all-electric future.”

The silicon carbide power device solutions will be produced at Wolfspeed’s 200mm-capable Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York, which is the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility.

Launching in early 2022, this state-of-the-art facility will dramatically expand the capacity for the company’s silicon carbide technologies. These are in increasing demand for electric vehicle production and other advanced technology sectors around the world.

Gregg Lowe, Wolfspeed CEO, said: “Our agreement with GM further demonstrates the automotive industry’s commitment to delivering innovative EV solutions to the market and using the latest advances in power management to improve overall vehicle performance.

“This agreement ensures long-term supply of silicon carbide to GM to help them deliver on their promise of an all-electric future.”

The widespread adoption of silicon carbide as an industry-standard semi-conductor for transportation supports the automotive industry’s rapid transition to clean energy vehicles.

Silicon carbide enables greater system efficiencies that result in longer range while lowering weight and conserving space. Wolfspeed’s technology is fuelling electric propulsion systems across the entire voltage spectrum from 400V to 800V and beyond.

General Motors plans to offer 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025, with the Hummer electric vehicle and BrightDrop electric truck leading the way.

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