Catapults

Transport

Electric transport using compound semiconductors will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

Accelerating our journey on the road to Net Zero

One-fifth of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is generated, the majority of which comes from passenger vehicles and freight trucks.

In 2024, electric vehicle (EV) sales will increase by 21% as governments and consumers try to reduce the effects of climate change. By 2030, EVs will make up more than two-thirds of global car sales.  

Compound semiconductors such as gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) are used in EV power electronic devices.  

They reduce the losses that occur during the flow of power from batteries to the motor, thus improving efficiency and prolonging battery life.   

Compound semiconductors are smaller, more efficient, have faster switching speeds, and reduced energy losses compared to silicon. This increases the performance and range of EVs and enables them to charge faster.   

Rail, marine and aviation will use compound semiconductors to improve electric propulsion and power management.   

The production of sustainable fuels such as hydrogen will also use sophisticated electronics built using compound semiconductors.  

Key technologies

Inverters

EVs use inverters to transform DC current from the battery into an AC current to power the motor. Inverters built using compound semiconductors are much more efficient at performing this switch.

Converters

An on-board converter converts and regulates power from the battery so that components like lighting, infotainment systems and sensors work. Converters built using compound semiconductors are much more efficient and reliable.

On-board chargers

On-board chargers convert the AC current from a charging point into DC power so the battery can charge. On-board chargers using compound semiconductors are smaller, more powerful and charge quicker.

  • Lower costs
  • Increased range
  • Faster charging

Compound semiconductors generate less heat in EVs so they dont need as many cooling systems. This makes EVs lighter and cheaper to produce.  

As compound semiconductors are more efficient, devices can be made smaller and lighter. This reduces the weight of an EV and means it can travel further.    

Compound semiconductors can handle higher voltages and currents and are more effective at managing heat. This means EV charging devices can be lighter, more compact and deliver faster and more powerful charging.

Related case studies

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Power electronics

Power electronics

Our world-leading team of experts has the know-how, experience and track record in developing and commercialising high-performing power electronics devices for automotive, energy and industrial applications.

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RF & microwave communications

RF & microwave communications

Our radio frequency and microwave communications experts help optimise the performance and improve the energy efficiency of RF and microwave devices in future telecoms, space, defence and security industries.

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Photonics

Photonics

We are experts in the design, modelling, characterisation and validation of photonics devices, from laser emitters to photonic integrated circuits and quantum hardware.

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Advanced packaging

Advanced packaging

We provide a unique capability in advanced packaging for UK industry. We deliver bespoke solutions to the many complexities associated with compound semiconductor devices.

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