Bosch chip extends EV range by 6%
Automotive supplier Bosch has developed a semiconductor chip that can increase EV range by 6%. The chip will be produced in Germany from next year.
‘Range anxiety’ – one of the biggest impediments to the mainstreaming of electric vehicles (EVs) – has receded somewhat as battery technology has improved.
However, EV range is not entirely down to battery power. How that power is managed is also a factor. And that’s where Bosch’s new chip comes in.
Rather than silicon, which is widely used today, the chip will be made out of silicon carbide (SiC), which conducts better – meaning the engine management chips in BEVs have higher switching frequencies and produce less heat (about 50% less, Bosch claims).
That equals more efficient conductivity. From an OEM point of view, two applications are possible: increased range (by 6%, according to Bosch boad member Harald Kroeger), or the same range with smaller (i.e. cheaper) batteries.
Bosch is investing in chip improvement because it is counting on the importance of semiconductor chips for the automotive industry to continue to grow.
- Industry estimates say the average car today contains $370 worth of chips.
- For BEVs, that figure rises to $450.
- The fully autonomous cars of the (near) future will pack an additional $1,000 worth of semiconductors.
- Infotainment systems could add another $100’s worth.
That’s almost $2,000 in semiconductors per car – a lucrative market for Bosch and its competitors. Bosch currently has a 5.4% share of the $38-billion automotive semiconductor market, making it the sixth-largest supplier on the market.