Inverter, power converter business opportunities in EVs

The market for electric vehicle inverters, including converters, for both hybrid and pure electric vehicles, will grow to $18 billion in 2023 as forecasted in an IDTechEx report.

DC to DC converter is a category of power converters and it is an electric circuit which converts a source of direct current (DC) from one voltage level to another, by storing the input energy temporarily and then releasing that energy to the output at a different voltage. 

An inverter is a device that converts DC power to the AC power used in an electric vehicle motor. The inverter can change the speed at which the motor rotates by adjusting the frequency of the alternating current. It can also increase or decrease the power or torque of the motor by adjusting the amplitude of the signal.

For instance, energy that is recouped by an AC motor during regenerative braking, is put back in the form of DC into the batteries. The aforementioned two critical functions achieved by a single inverter have significantly attracted many automakers in the automotive industry. Bosch, Valeo, and Continental AG are some of the key manufacturers that have successfully developed such advanced inverters for the growing hybrid and electric vehicles market.

The Asia-Pacific is leading the electric vehicle power inverter market followed by Europe and North America respectively. The sale of electric vehicles in China is growing at a rapid pace. Approximately 1.3 million new energy vehicles were sold in 2018, a 62% rise compared to 2017. New energy vehicles accounted for just over 4% of all 28.1 million automobiles sold in China in 2018 which is higher than the United States (under 2%), and Europe (~3%). 

  • Delphi Technologies plans to introduce what it says is the first combined inverter and DC/DC converter in China.
    • The addition of these components is expected to create a more efficient and cost-effective way to deliver increased power density in a smaller and lighter package. The potential to deliver more efficient electric propulsion systems has already attracted the attention of major automakers who have selected the technology to power their EVs.
  • The global electric vehicle power inverter market is dominated by few players such as Continental AG, Robert Bosch GmbH, DENSO Corporation, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation among others. The companies are expanding their business by opening new production plant and by making joint ventures, so that they can have edge over their competitors. For instance,
  • Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced that it has completed the construction of its new eight plant building at Himeji Works, Hirohata plant, by investing around USD 63.6 million. The new plant boasts of the production of motors, generators, as well as inverters for hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Nidec Corporation and France’s Groupe PSA have completed the establishment of a joint venture to develop, manufacture, and sell automotive traction motors and inverters. The new company, Nidec PSA motors, has invested around USD 177.7 million and both the companies hold a share of 50% each.


See also: Climate Startup Intelligence from CLIMAFIX

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