2022 – The Year of the EV?

Ally Winning, European Editor, PSD



Happy new year to all our readers from everyone here at Power Systems Design. I hope everyone had a good break over the festive season and are fresh and ready for a busy new year. Personally, I am really excited about this year. Hopefully the worst of the COVID epidemic is over and we can return to some sense of normality. As more fabs open and capacity is extended at existing fabs, we should also see an end to the chip shortage that has hampered the industry. The ending of that shortage should set the scene for a real breakthrough in electric vehicles this year. EV design is improving all the time. There have been advancements batteries, charging and the drivetrain, and in every other area, which along with a rapidly growing EV infrastructure across the globe, should hopefully make range anxiety a thing of the past, nullifying the most valid reason to not buy electric.

One piece of news that really caught my eye at the end of last year was that the world’s largest auto manufacturer, Toyota, has announced a new line-up of 30 new Toyota and Lexus EVs in a wide variety of form factors. Despite being one of the manufacturers at the forefront of this wave of electric vehicles with the popular Prius design that originally launched in 1997, Toyota seemed to be backing away from electric propulsion and placing more emphasis on other forms of fuel, predominantly hydrogen power. It was also revealed that the company had been lobbying US lawmakers to delay the transition to electric earlier this year. So, it was quite a shift when the company announced that it will spend $3.4 billion on automotive batteries in the US this decade, including a new $1.3 billion factory in North Carolina to make batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles. This apparent u-turn means all of the most prominent auto manufacturers have a strong commitment to EV adoption.

The improvements in all aspects of EV design and infrastructure have helped extend the range of EVs to start competing with the range of petrol powered vehicles. The gap is only going to close in the coming years as more advancements are made. In this month’s Special Report, we look at some of those moves forward. Our first article in the featured section is from Analog Devices, where Timothé Rossignol writes about getting the most out of SiC technology by taking a holistic approach to the EV powertrain. The second Special Report article this month was written by Dr.-Ing. Frank Schafmeister, from Paderborn University. In the article, Dr Schafmeister looks at transformerless on-board chargers, and how the charger’s internal DC/DC-stages can be used to avoid causative common-mode voltages and to prevent the resulting leakage currents.

As well as the Special Report, we also have our usual selection of general power articles along with the latest news and comment. I hope there will be something inside of interest for everyone.

Best Regards,

Ally Winning

European Editor, PSD