- Adoption of zero-emission vehicles accelerated across almost all markets and vehicle segments in 2022 and will continue on the back of increasing government regulation and incentives
- Power inverters, irreplaceable power conversion tech, has received a meaningful upgrade with Hillcrest’s ZVS inverter technology that improves operating power and efficiency
- Hillcrest anticipates commitments for commercial revenue this year from its inverter as it expands into multiple other areas where the technology is highly applicable
New technologies are always accompanied by unforeseen challenges, especially for the EV space as it is becoming more and more pronounced. There was a time when people thought the idea of a horseless carriage moving around was impossible. Ironically, electric vehicles came about before those powered by gasoline. At the time, gasoline was cleaner and more reliable, so electrics disappeared from the market. With the outset of the new electric vehicle revolution, questions have abounded about a slew of topics, such as safety, range anxiety, and charging infrastructure. Experts are still trying to square circles regarding who will pay for electric grid upgrades, while others like Hillcrest Energy Technologies (CSE: HEAT) (OTCQB: HLRTF) emerge on the scene with innovations tackling heat and power issues that sap efficiency from EVs.
Whether or not the world reaches its net-zero-emission targets for vehicles in the next dozen years or not is up for debate, but there is no doubt that the day of electrification is upon us. According to strategic research provider BloombergNEF, adoption of ZEVs (zero-emission vehicles) accelerated across almost all markets and vehicle segments in 2022. The result? 1.7 million fewer barrels of oil used each day.
BNEF estimated that EV sales increased from 6.6 million units in 2021 to top 10 million for the first time. In 2022, the total value of global EV sales surpassed the $1 trillion mark. The rise in adoption is supported nearly universally by governments aiming to slash carbon emissions, including the Canadian government officially getting on board late in 2022, launching regulations that will phase out sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles that emit emissions starting in 2035.
The good thing for consumers is that innovation is making electric cars and trucks better at the engineering level. Vancouver-based Hillcrest raised the bar in the EV power inverter industry, eliminating traditional trade-offs regarding heat generation and electromagnetic compatibility (“EMC”) that have plagued engineers for years. The company uses a combination of hardware and software to unlock higher switching frequencies resulting in improved power system performance and reliability without compromising efficiency.
This is the type of technology that the average driver won’t understand except for if it didn’t exist. Batteries in electric vehicles store energy as direct current (“DC”). While DC may be ideal for powering certain things, it absolutely is not ideal for the motors in EVs. As a matter of science, DC is incapable of the smoothness and predictability of a motor under rapid changes in voltage. AC (alternative current) is required, and the traction inverter is what converts the energy from DC to AC.
Conventional traction inverters are a staple of EVs. Hillcrest has developed a flexible, single-inverter architecture that can be applied at nearly every stage of the electrification ecosystem, from renewable energy generation through the charging and operation of an EV, to provide full-cycle efficiency and performance improvements. Hillcrest’s flagship commercial prototype is a 250 kW|800V Hillcrest SiC high efficiency traction inverter that is ideal for electrification. While EVs are the low hanging fruit and a massive market opportunity, Hillcrest’s inverters have applications across an array of motors, generators, and throughout the renewable energy space.
An inverter is part-and-parcel to grid connected wind and solar power systems, energy storage, and EV chargers. In this case, the inverter converts the AC input from the grid/charging station to the DC output needed by the EV’s battery, which then, in turn, converts the energy again to power the vehicle. Against this backdrop, it is not hard to understand why the global inverter market is expected to reach $95 billion by 2028.
With its flagship inverter setting a new standard for traction inverters, Hillcrest is forecasting a transformational 2023 for the company, including proof-of-concept testing for an enhanced powertrain solution and a novel multi-level inverter technology. Furthermore, proof-of-concept testing is expected to be completed on a grid-tied inverter, as the company pushes for both horizontal and vertical expansion of its proprietary technology.
“Our near-term objective is to engage up to two additional EV customers and ramp up new customer agreements for our grid-tied renewable energy generation and Energy Storage System (‘ESS’) segments,” said Don Currie, Hillcrest CEO in a recent PR. “Combined, we believe these development and commercialization activities will position us well to secure commitments for commercial revenues by the end of the year,” he concluded.
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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