- McKinsey & Company predicts battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will comprise over 55% of new vehicle production by 2030
- Hillcrest Energy is bringing to market novel inverter technology as EV manufacturers transition to next-generation technologies, including 800-volt platforms
- Hillcrest Energy has released white papers showing the value of its inverter tech to eliminate losses and reduce capacitor size and weight, while improving power, reliability, and product life
The last couple years have presented a spate of challenges to the electric vehicle (“EV”) industry. 2020-2022 has been marked by supply chain disruptions, spikes in wholesale costs, and rise in wsticker prices that earned the ire of some consumers despite government incentives supporting the transition away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. A deeper dive reveals an industry in transition for the better, as new technology, such as next-gen inverters from Hillcrest Energy Technologies (CSE: HEAT) (OTCQB: HLRTF) (FRA: 7HIA.F), improve efficiencies across the battery-powered spectrum.
Spurred on by global mandates to curb emissions, the EV market is accelerating in the face of any obstacles. Pundits remain bullish on the future, including global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company predicting battery electric vehicles (“BEVs”) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (“PHEVs”) will comprise over 55% of new vehicle production by 2030 in North America, China, and Europe. If the European Union has anything to say about it, that estimate may be light considering the bloc recently upheld its ban of new internal combustion engine (“ICE”) vehicle sales after 2035.
Hundreds of automakers are now focused on the EV space, leaving behind many conventional technologies in favor of those that make vehicles lighter, less expensive (in the long run) with greater range. Some are even experimenting with integrated solar body panels so the vehicle can harvest power non-stop.
One trend is to ditch the 400-volt platform for an 800-volt system. 800-volt platforms require optimizations but are a value proposition by significantly improving efficiency while minimizing joule loss and weight (owing to less high voltage cabling requirements). Minimizing size is a popular theme in vehicle electrification, which squares with the products of Hillcrest as it develops a pipeline of transformative power conversion technologies and control system solutions for next-generation electric vehicles and electrical systems. Most recently, the British Columbia-based company has been highlighting a new soft-switching technology for improving power density through the reduction of capacitor and overall inverter size.
Generally speaking, there are a bank of capacitors in an inverter for the purpose of allowing pulses of electrical current to happen at different times and frequencies. This action serves several purposes, including reducing the amount of peak-to-peak ripple voltage.
Smaller capacitors mean smaller inverters, which translates to less weight without sacrificing performance. In fact, it can improve performance and lower costs. Industry-wide, extrapolating small changes in materials and battery capacity can translate to large reductions in supply chain demand.
In August, Hillcrest released a technical white paper outlining the advantages of its novel Zero Voltage Switching inverter and how its soft-switching capabilities relate to capacitors within the power conversion system. The report details the benefits of operating electrical systems at higher switching frequencies as a means to substantially reduce capacitor size, and improve power and reliability, while extending component life. It followed a July report on how Hillcrest technology eliminates losses and improves motor efficiencies.
Hillcrest says that it is on schedule to deliver commercial prototypes of its new inverter to interested parties, including multiple global tier 1 automotive suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”), by the fourth quarter. The company has overcome typical issues with developing new inverter technology, namely eliminating high-frequency ringing in the power modules.
“Based on our ongoing conversations with potential customers, we believe our business model – largely based on a combination of unique, application-specific hardware and software designs and ongoing product royalties/fees – aligns perfectly with what the industry is looking for,” said Hillcrest CEO Don Currie in a statement. He added that the strategy is to retain ownership of its core intellectual property and de-risk via creating multiple revenue streams by choosing a select group of non-exclusive partners that could deploy the inverters throughout different markets and sectors.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.HillcrestEnergy.tech.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to HLRTF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/HLRTF
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