- For some EV owners, charging may cost more than filling up, highlighting the need for enhancing EV efficiency – a metric that relies heavily on the productivity of their complex powertrain system
- Performance of powertrain components directly affects cost, driving range, charge time, and overall driving experience; as a result, inverter technology could determine the speed and success of EV adoption
- Hillcrest’s proprietary ZVS inverter technology is designed to bring benefits for both OEMs in terms of potential for significant savings in the construction of the vehicles, and for the end user
EV manufacturers may need to step up their game as, in today’s economic environment with rising electricity prices, drivers will want to ensure more confidence if they are to choose between an electric car and its conventional counterpart. With a higher purchase price relative to their combustion-engine equivalent, the recent jump in electricity rates could tip the scale for some drivers. That is where innovative solutions like Hillcrest Energy Technologies (CSE: HEAT) (OTCQB: HLRTF) ZVS inverter can help EVs become more efficient and work smarter, not harder.
For some drivers, the lure of EVs has been on a downward slope once the recent energy price volatility entered the equation. Electricity rates in some parts of the country have leaped 30% since last summer, while gasoline prices have decreased below their peak in mid-2022 (https://ibn.fm/GwGgx). Consequently, for a large portion of the country, EVs are not much cheaper to drive compared to conventional cars, and as a result, they may start looking less attractive. In addition, there are other concerns that potential EV buyers often face when deciding about the purchase, such as how far a car can go on one charge and how long it takes to recharge it. If costs and efficiency are two major pain points of the modern EV industry, then Hillcrest appears to be focusing its engineering efforts to solve for both.
The powertrain – a system consisting of batteries, traction inverters, onboard charger, and electric motors – lies at the core of every EV. The efficiency of the powertrain components is crucial since it directly affects costs, driving range, charge time, and general driving performance. As such, it could determine the speed and success of EV adoption. This puts inverters into the spotlight since an efficient power inverter is a critical powertrain component for making EVs more efficient, cost-effective, and attractive to the modern consumer.
That is where Hillcrest aims to step in with its proprietary Zero Voltage Switching (“ZVS”) traction inverter which is designed to set a new standard of performance and efficiency for modern power conversion technologies. The company has recently completed the first commercial prototype of this innovative solution, which is said to be lighter, faster, and more efficient compared to traditional inverters.
Today’s vehicles mainly use conventional inverters running on 400-volt systems (https://ibn.fm/u56ZS), but Hillcrest is confident that the future will be in high-voltage inverters (800/900-volt) with silicon carbide (“SiC”) devices as manufacturers seek to lower long-term system costs in their bid to stay competitive. Its ZVS inverter is believed to enable EV manufacturers to utilize the advantages of the promising silicon carbide up to its limit (https://ibn.fm/uxsq3).
However, the benefits of ZVS don’t seem to stop here, as Hillcrest is optimistic that its innovative technology has many potential values, including the cost control potential. The company believes that its inverter will cost as much or even less than inverters currently available in the market. Still, unlike them, Hillcrest’s ZVS would offer far greater capabilities in terms of efficiency. In a recent investor presentation, the company cited cost savings of $700 per vehicle when using its ZVS inverter. This means that for 100,000 cars in any given model manufactured over a year, OEMs could save $70 million with a bonus of increased benefits for the end user, such as increased range, more efficient batteries, and more.
The list of benefits does not seem to stop here either. For example, OEMs are on the constant lookout for new technologies that can expand the abilities of the batteries, and Hillcrest appears confident that its technology can assist in making battery technology more efficient. Instead of focusing on increasing battery size – already the most expensive EV component and one that adds more weight to the vehicle – the new paradigm concentrates on developing more efficient inverters to make EVs’ powertrain work smarter, not harder. According to the company, a 1% efficiency gains achieved by deploying its inverter can reduce batteries needed by as much as 2%. Payback of these small relative savings can be substantial at the system level.
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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