Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also continue to enjoy strong growth. A report by JP Morgan Chase estimates that 30% of all vehicle sales will be either EVs or HEVs by 2025 (Figure 1).
It is not only the proportion of EVs versus internal combustion engines that is fuelling this growth. There is also a steady increase in features like infotainment and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). A typical luxury sedan can now have up to 150 Electronic Control Units installed. All these factors are contributing to an increased demand for power electronics and software solutions.
Up until recently most ECUs have been located in the engine compartment where they are shielded from the extremes of vibration and temperature cycling of the engine and drive train. But advances in technology are placing power electronic components into harsher environments.
Why EV technology is demanding a higher performance from electronic components
The EV industry is characterised by rapid technological advancement. Hybrid vehicles, for example are benefitting from the development of 48V motors. This is compared to the high voltage solutions (up to 800V) that have dominated the market until recently. The lower voltage allows the vehicle to be exempt from onerous high voltage safety requirements. It offers smaller motors with a higher power output as well as better mechanical and electrical integration.