Who will benefit from the EV/HEV market’s explosive growth?
EV/HEV SALES WILL ACHIEVE A 28% CAGR FROM 2017-2023 – BY 2023 THE IGBT POWER MODULE MARKET WILL REACH $2.3B
EV/HEV sales continue to surge. In 2017, people bought 1.2 million battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), a 52% increase compared to 2016. Full and mild HEV sales accounted for 2.8 million units last year, a 22% year-to-year increase. Several European car manufacturers also launched their 48V mild hybrid models in 2017. This cost-effective solution, which electrifies vehicle auxiliary systems and at the same time reduces CO2 emissions, will proliferate in 2018-2019 among all European carmakers, followed by the Chinese ones. Yole Développement believes that the 48V system will rapidly boost the market. We forecast a CAGR for 2017-2023 of 50% for mild hybrids, because these low cost electrified vehicle models are attractive. Their approach can be easily implemented in any car, from city cars to higherend luxury models.
In terms of the geographical split for the potential of the EV/HEV market, in the report we disclose the divergence and evolution of the main markets. For instance, China today is very focused on the BEV and PHEV segments, and last year China accounted for 50% of global sales in these categories. And, looking at the evolution of the giant Asian country, it seems that this predominance will continue in the future. Countries like Japan or the USA are more focused on full HEV than these full EV models. It’s also interesting to highlight that even if China represents a huge market for EV/HEV, local companies are involved in car manufacturing, but much less at tier-1 component or power module supplier level. At these stages European, American and Japanese companies are predominant, even in the Chinese supply chain.
Having assessed how each type of electrified vehicle market will evolve, Yole Développement expects double-digit CAGR for 2018-2023. This means some 10 million EV/HEVs will be sold by around 2020, and up to 18 million by 2023, across all categories. This report shows how different power electronics markets, such as power converters and power modules, relate to the EV/HEV application.
COST-EFFECTIVE TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS ARE AT THE CENTER OF THE EV/HEV INDUSTRY
This new Yole Développement report describes battery pack technologies and the challenges they face in powering electric vehicles. Production cost is one of the main barriers today, but the possibility to use higher voltage batteries is one of the development directions for several carmakers.
Porsche is one of the most active companies doing this, and afterwards the Volkswagen group will likely take advantage of the technology. One clear advantage of using higher system voltages is the possibility of using fast charging technologies.
At the insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) power module level, a shift in design has happened in recent years. Modules have changed from classical packaging technologies, with a plastic casing, silicone gel encapsulation and a ceramic substrate. Now they are more compact, transfer-molded epoxy modules with organic isolation, although this has been a big step for traction inverter IGBT modules. These compact and flexible designs help integrate power converters better. As part of this, double-sided cooling modules have spread throughout the EV/HEV industry. The first double-sided cooling modules were in Lexus cars, but now we have the well-known fourth generation Toyota Prius PowerCards and the latest Bosch, Infineon or Dynex modules. This has built a pathway towards power electronics and cooling system integration and optimized thermal management systems.
Another important aspect is the arrival of organic insulator foils that avoid expensive and rigid ceramic substrates. Surprisingly, the isolation layer itself shows lower thermal conductivity of up to 10 W/mK, compared to 24 W/mK for alumina and up to 90 W/mK for silicon nitride. However, it offers design flexibility, with thicker insulated-metal substrate (IMS)-type structures with copper layers on top and bottom, which can optimize the thermal paths for each custom design. This new business will obviously threaten the ceramic substrate suppliers, who therefore need to counterattack with new, betteradapted ceramic propositions. Integrated ceramic and baseplate substrate solutions, which can be found in Mitsubishi Electric modules, go in that direction.
Lastly, the report discusses the penetration of SiC metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in electric and hybrid vehicle converters extensively. Some early adopters have already started using SiC, such as Chinese carmaker BYD in its onboard chargers, or US EV icon Tesla for its Model 3 inverter. Nevertheless, SiC is still used in only small volumes, requiring a back-up solution with silicon IGBTs. Other carmakers are even more conservative and do not see enough system-level benefits to adopt SiC MOSFETs. Yole Développement gives its vision of the industry and its evolution related to SiC penetration into the automotive supply-chain. The company also analyzes the potential of GaN power devices, but they’re not yet mature enough to be implemented in electric cars in the short term.
HOW WILL THE DYNAMIC EV/HEV INDUSTRY EVOLVE? WHAT ARE THE NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES?
This report explores EV/HEV market and technology evolution and dynamics, including Yole Développement’s analyst view of supply-chain changes and new business opportunities. As mentioned before, China is the biggest market today for electric cars. However, the majority of IGBT power modules used in Chinese cars are manufactured outside China. This is not a sustainable solution for the Chinese industry and particularly for the Chinese government. The model as it is today is based on several joint ventures between local and foreign companies at the carmaker level, and to a lesser extent between tier-1 companies. This is mainly due to government restrictions to foreign companies. In coming years, we should see the Chinese government taking action in order to get power devices manufactured in China to supply the local market.
Otherwise, in coming years we will see a lot of cost reduction, to make technologies more affordable and help the financial situation of companies’ EV/HEV divisions. Several manufacturers say that electric cars are not profitable due to their high cost. The battery is mostly responsible for that, but cost reductions will likely come from tier-1 supplier efforts to find better technology at power module and converter level. Penetration of SiC MOSFETs in EV/HEVs will also depend on how tier-1 suppliers enable system level price reductions when using SiC. For these reasons, we still expect plenty of advances in the EV/HEV industry that will open new business opportunities for a wide variety of companies, including material suppliers, integrated device manufacturers, Chinese semiconductor companies, outsourced semiconductor assembly and test companies, and tier-1 suppliers. Yole Développement’s 2018 report explains this complex ecosystem.
Objectives of the Report
This report’s objectives are to:
- Provide updated market metrics and forecasts for electrified vehicles
- Total system-level power electronic costs by type of EV/HEV
- Deep discussion about the position of different players involved with SiC for automotive
- Chinese EV/HEV market evolution up to 2030
- Insight into new 48V systems
- Evolution of PoN testing systems over the past five years, and description of the market’s main players
- New products since 2016