Traction inverters are a key application for electrified vehicle designs

Download Infineon´s free whitepaper on traction inverters and its role for electrified vehicle designs

High efficiency increases range and reduces cooling efforts while optimized power density assists with space and weight. As sales volumes increase, the focus is shifting to automated manufacturing with increasing quality requirements.

The most fundamental system in all electric vehicles is the powertrain and, at the heart of this is the traction inverter that converts energy stored in the battery to power the motors and propel the vehicle.

While this may seem simple, the traction inverter defines the performance and impacts on the range of the vehicle and, for this reason, designers are being challenged to achieve ever higher levels of efficiency in ever smaller and lighter inverters. As sales volumes of electric vehicles (EV) increase, the focus is shifting from design to automated manufacturing and zero defects. Accordingly, OEMs and Tier-1 automakers are concentrating on honing their processes and designs.

In this technical white paper, we will look at the role of traction inverters and how they are evolving within the changing landscape of electric vehicles. We will also consider new semiconductor technologies that are driving advanced development and many of the challenges that need to be considered when designing traction inverters.

Pre-read: What is a traction inverter?

In an electric powertrain the primary battery produces DC current while the traction motor(s) of which there can be one to four depending upon the vehicle configuration, require AC current. The conversion from DC to AC is performed by the traction inverter, making it the critical component within all EV drivetrains.

Inverters are not uncommon and are used in many applications including uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and leisure vehicles where it is necessary to power mains devices from a DC source – i.e. a battery. The theory of operation is relatively simple and involves DC power from the traction battery being fed to the stator winding of the motor through the main inverter. [...]

Interested in more?