An Electrified New Year

Jason Lomberg, North American Editor, PSD



Electric and hybrid vehicles currently own a very humble slice of the automotive pie (<2%), but that’ll change very soon.

A combination of government mandates – the UK plans to outlaw non-zero emission cars by 2035 – and automakers pledging to go fully electric should create a bear market for EVs and hybrids over the next couple decades.

By one estimate, sales of EVs and hybrids could balloon up to 31.1 million by 2030, so it’s no wonder that the industry is throwing countless billions towards switching away from the internal combustion engine (and you can barely open a press release without seeing something directly or tangentially related to electric vehicles).

And that’s where our January issue comes in. First off, you’ve probably noticed that this isn’t our usual January/February issue – Power Systems Design plans to publish 12 times in 2021, and what better way to start off the year than one of the hottest (and most lucrative) industry verticals?

At the back of the book, I recap one of the more interesting seminars from the recent Battery Show & EV Tech Digital Days, "Fast Charging Using Integrated Battery Thermal Management." And I’d highly recommend you check out the PSDcast we just did that deals with a Level 2 EV charging station.

I’d also like to highlight a trio of contributed articles, starting with Allegro MicroSystems’ “Common Driver Platform for 12V and 48V Systems.”

As Allegro’s Dan Jacques explains, “starter generator systems have proven to be an integral part of vehicle electrification,” since they start the engine, supply electrical boost to the engine, and generate charge voltage during deceleration or coasting.

It’s something that absolutely needs to function properly since starter generator failures can overcharge the lithium-ion battery pack.

The next article, by the esteemed author of our “MarketWatch” column, Taiwan Semiconductor's Kevin Parmenter, focuses on load dump conditions – more specifically, “The Right TVS Devices for "Load Dump" Auto Applications.”

Kevin notes that “load dump” conditions happen when large loads are applied and removed, such as when a battery is repeatedly connected and disconnected from the alternator, and if not handled properly, they can cause severe damage to the vehicle’s downstream electronic systems.

Finally, I’d like to preview an article from ROHM that discusses “Driving LEDs for Automotive Lighting Solutions.”

Green power isn’t the only technological sea change affecting the automobile. As the world slowly transitions from conventional to solid-state lighting, LEDs are taking over the automotive market.

Naturally, LEDs afford cars many of the same advantages they do household fixtures – “While driving LEDs requires more complicated electronics, and more electrical components, LEDs provide better light, with more display controls, less power, less heat loss, smaller size, and longer life,” says ROHM’s Nick Ikuta.

Be sure to read the full versions of these and the rest of January’s content, and check out our comprehensive coverage of electric and hybrid vehicles on

Best Regards,

Jason Lomberg

North American Editor, PSD