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New tyre boosts range of solar EV

Bridgestone has designed a tyre specifically for solar-power EVs (writes Nick Flaherty). It has been designed for Netherlands based solar car designer Lightyear and its Lightyear One car to reduce the weight and rolling resistance and so increase its range compared with the regular production tyre. The Lightyear One has a range of 450 miles...

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Hybrid approach to safe transport

Horizon Aircraft has developed a hybrid electric vertical take-off (eVTOL) aircraft with safety at the heart of its design (writes Nick Flaherty). The Cavorite x5 eVTOL fan-in-wing platform is designed with a redundant gas/electric powertrain to enable safety certification for carrying up to five people. The high-wing canard design has six motors in each wing...

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Aluminium batteries advance

Researchers in the US have taken a key step forward towards using aluminium for rechargeable batteries that have far higher capacity than current lithium-ion cells (writes Nick Flaherty). The team, at Cornell University, coated the metal with carbon fibres to improve the performance over more than 10,000 charging cycles and 3600 hours when cycled at a charging rate...

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IGBT-SiC chip cuts inverter costs

Infineon has launched a 650 V hybrid silicon carbide (SiC) and silicon transistor for inverter designs (writes Nick Flaherty). The CoolSiC Hybrid Discrete for Automotive combines a 50 A fast switching IGBT and a CoolSiC Schottky diode to reduce the cost compared to a pure SiC part but provide the high reliability needed...

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Nanotech cells process

Nanom in Iceland has developed a nanotechnology process that can turn carbon fibre structures into solid-state batteries (writes Nick Flaherty). The company says this can provide a more than nine-fold increase in performance for lithium-ion batteries, and that it is talking to a wide range of transportation...

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SiC chips board buses in China

Power modules from StarPower Semiconductor are using the next generation of SiC semiconductors for the first time for electric buses in China (writes Nick Flaherty). Bus maker Zhengzhou Yutong Group is using a 100 A, 1200 V SiC MOSFET transistor from Cree for the StarPower module in an 800 V powertrain design. This will provide the first electric bus design in China to use the SiC widebandgap semiconductor MOSFETs...

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Gear IC has traction

Allegro Microsystems has launched the industry’s first gear-tooth sensor IC to provide incremental position data for traction motors (writes Nick Flaherty). The ATS17501 provides high-speed switching up to 40 kHz to directly measure rotating ferrous gears up to 30,000 rpm, and provides an incremental encoded output...

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Schottky diodes start to motor

Schottky barrier diodes (SBDs) operating at 200 V and with low leakage current are being increasingly used for hybrid and full electric powertrains and inverters (writes Nick Flaherty). There is currently a strong effort towards mechanical integration in 48 V hybrid drive systems, by combining the motor and peripheral circuits...

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Fifth-gen cell voltage monitors

Smart Test Solutions has launched its fifth generation of cell voltage monitoring (CVM) systems for fuel cells, batteries and electrolysis for hydrogen generation (writes Nick Flaherty). This latest version has an extended temperature range of up to 105 C, up from the previous 85 C. The power supply range has also been extended. Instead of using a 5 V supply...

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Wheel motor test platform

Nissan has developed a test vehicle to evaluate the use of electric motors on each wheel (writes Nick Flaherty). It is based on the Leaf e+ platform, with front and rear motors and what Nissan calls a new chassis control system. New control technology being developed by the company integrates its electric propulsion and four-wheeldrive control technologies...

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