Combined charger / inverter targets electric vehicles

September 11, 2017 // By Nick Flaherty
Canadian power controller and motor maker TM4 has launched a combined bi-directional charger and inverter for a wide range of electric and hybrid vehicle applications in the Americas and Europe.

The BCI20 was developed in collaboration with Convertronix, a Quebec-based company specialized in the design and manufacturing of power conversion equipment to use to use the full current range from the AC mains as defined in SAE J1772 for a maximum charge power of 18kW on 240 V AC.

When the vehicle is in use, the charger becomes a dual inverter that can provide two independent three-phase outputs of 9kVA each to power various AC auxiliary loads.

"The charger combined with two inverter outputs is very beneficial for our customers. It simplifies the vehicle integration by combining multiple functionalities in one box, moving TM4 closer to our one-stop shop approach," says Eric Azeroual, Sales and Customer Service director at TM4.

The Lion Electric Company is TM4's first client to experiment the benefits of this new integrated product in its electric school buses: "To our knowledge, no other unit on the market offers so many features, such power density, quality and ease of integration at such a competitive cost," said Bruno Pilon, Director of engineering at Lion Electric.

The BCI20 satisfies the IP67 rating for reliable operation in harsh under-hood vehicle environments. It allows for a flexible installation in multiple mounting locations due to its compactness and lightness.

TM4, which is a subsidiary of power operator Hydro-Québec, aims to expand this new series of product and offer to the North American and European markets both a single-phase and three-phase bidirectional charger inverter in 450VDC and 750VDC options.

www.tm4.com