Continental has developed its new, third generation of power electronics for use in electric vehicles (EV) requiring processing of high currents, to enable good driving performance. The new power module takes the fun of driving to the next level, combining efficient, environmentally-friendly electric mobility with maximum emotion. The new microchip technology enables currents of up to 650 amps.
The new power electronics can be used in a broad range of EVs, noted Continental. The current, third-generation chip delivers six times the performance of the first iteration, while its weight has been reduced from what used to be 12 kg, to 8 kg now. The technological highlight of the power electronics is the special production process, where the conventional, soldered wire connections are replaced by sintering technology, making the contacts compounded. The advantage of this is that the microchips sintered on both sides in the power module offer major gains in terms of service life, reliability and thermal capacity. The company noted that the Powertrain division is using this technology for the first time in automotive electronics.
In addition to development and production expertise in power electronics hardware, Continental has the necessary software knowledge to adapt the component as required. For instance, the system was tailored for ultimate sports performance and maximum dynamics for an electric SUV, the company noted. If the driver does not demand all the available performance, the control software will provide a particularly calm and peaceful travel experience.
Dr Andreas Wolf, CEO, Powertrain Business, Continental, said when it comes to EVs, the focus is mainly on the electric motor and battery. However, there is another vitally important key component, namely power electronics that manages the interaction between motor and battery, he added. Dr Wolf explained that its own central component is the power module, which enables currents of up to 650 amps. “For years now, the drive business of technology company Continental has been offering this technology for various types of electric automobiles – from plug-in hybrid models to electric cars featuring highly integrated axle drives, right through to high-performance electric vehicles,” he said.
The new power electronics module from Continental was the first on the market for a series-production electric automobile in this performance class and featuring this innovative technology, noted Thomas Stierle, Head, Hybrid Electric Vehicle business unit, Powertrain.