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Bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery for 2021 Toyota Aqua

Toyota’s new Acqua compact HEV comes with a bipolar nickel-hydrogen battery, a world first for a road vehicle according to the Japanese automotive giant (writes Peter Donaldson). Conventional non-bipolar nickel-hydrogen batteries have a much lower energy density than lithium-ion versions but much longer service lives. Compared with the nickel-hydrogen battery in the previous-generation Aqua, says […]

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Solid-state batteries will be big in EVs – eventually

The promise of much safer electrolytes makes solid-state batteries attractive for EVs, particularly passenger cars, and EVs are expected to be their biggest single market (writes Peter Donaldson). However, the technology is far from mature and several challenges remain, according to Dr Xiaoxi He, principal technology analyst at IdTechEx, which has published an in-depth report […]

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Power semiconductors battleground

Even though wide bandgap semiconductors such as silicon carbide (SiC) and to a lesser extent gallium nitride (GaN) are making their presence felt in EV power conversion systems still dominated by silicon (Si), there is more performance to come from Si – and EVs are positioned to take advantage of competition among all three materials […]

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Double-sided ceramic power module for drive inverters

Engineers in Germany have developed a double-sided ceramic power semiconductor module for more efficient cooling of silicon carbide (SiC) power devices in e-mobility designs (writes Nick Flaherty). The ceramic module developed in the FuCera project dramatically cuts the size of drive inverters by providing more efficient cooling and allows vertical interconnection within the ceramic substrate […]

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Electrolyte detection outs cell leaks

Cell leakage in lithium ion batteries is bad news, so battery makers want to find any that happen during manufacture or assembly so their quality control teams can prevent early failures and minimise warranty costs, while drivers need confidence, safety and low servicing costs. Sandra Seitz from vacuum analysis and test instrument specialists Inficon explained […]

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Dyno development

For ICE powertrain companies looking to transition into e-powertrain engineering, the construction of the new test cells poses on of the biggest cost-barrier to entry, writes Rory Jackson. High-speed dynamometers and test benches capable of measuring the performances of e-motors are inevitably pricey, and many such companies already possess significant testing equipment for cycling combustion […]

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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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