Mercedes-Benz has entered into a strategic partnership with Wolfspeed to supply silicon carbide power semiconductors for use in the electric car manufacturer’s drive systems.
The use of these semiconductors, which are more efficient and generate less waste heat than traditional silicon components, will allow for smaller and lighter cooling systems, resulting in longer ranges and faster charging times for electric vehicles.
Wolfspeed will supply Mercedes-Benz from its production facilities in North Carolina and New York, with the North Carolina location set to significantly increase the company’s SiC production capacity upon completion of its first phase of construction in 2024. No details have been released regarding the specific supply volumes or financial terms of the partnership.
Mercedes-Benz will be using Wolfspeed semiconductors in the development of highly efficient electric vehicles. The vehicles, which will be based on new electric platforms set to be introduced from 2025, will be known for their superior performance. While technical details about the platforms, such as voltage levels, have not yet been disclosed, it is clear that Mercedes-Benz is committed to producing some of the most advanced and efficient electric vehicles on the market.
“Based on a long history of technical cooperation between our companies, we have now selected Wolfspeed as one of our key partners for future silicon carbide components, securing the preferred long-term supply, technology and quality of this critical semiconductor component for our electrification offensive,” said Gunnar Güthenke, head of purchasing and supplier quality Mercedes-Benz. Wolfspeed CEO Gregg Lowe adds, “We continue to invest in our manufacturing capabilities to support a steeper demand curve for silicon carbide devices that not only improve electric vehicle performance and drive greater consumer adoption but also support the sustainability efforts of global automotive leaders like Mercedes-Benz.”
Wolfspeed is also a supplier of silicon carbide components to General Motors, which uses them in the integrated power electronics of its “Ultium Drive” units for 400 and 800 volt systems. This news suggests that Wolfspeed is a leading supplier of advanced semiconductor technology for the automotive industry.