Cree Partners with the Yutong Group to Bring China its First SiC-Powered Electric Bus
The Yutong Group partnered with Cree and StarPower to create China’s first electric bus using next-generation silicon carbide technology.
Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co., Ltd (Yutong Group) is a large-scale industrial group that focuses on the sustainable development of global public transport. While Yutong primarily specializes in the bus business it also operates in other strategic businesses including construction machinery, automotive parts and components, real estate, and more. The group recently announced its collaboration with StarPower Semiconductor Ltd. and Cree, Inc. Yutong constructed a high-efficiency powertrain system for electric buses using Cree’s 1200V silicon carbide (SiC) metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor MOSFETs and StarPower’s power module technology.
The Yutong Group partners with Cree and StarPower to bring China the first SiC-powered Powertrain. Image used courtesy of the Wolfspeed.
Electrifying Transport Systems
The advent of SiC-powered technologies is now. This technology is a generational leap above its purely silicon-based forebears. SiC technologies are better able to handle high electric loads, switching rates, and reduce energy consumption via other capabilities. Through its Wolfspeed business unit, Cree is offering its customers a variety of state-of-the-art SiC, GaN (Gallium nitride) power, and RF (radio frequency) solutions. Of these solutions, Yutong has incorporated Cree’s SiC MOSFETs into the design of its new electric bus.
Wolfspeed's 1200V SiC MOSFETs. Image used courtesy of Wolfspeed.
Combining Wolfspeed's 1200V SiC diodes with SiC MOSFETs produces a powerful device with high efficiency for demanding applications. Benefits of using Cree’s MOSFETs include easy driving with a +15V gate drive, a rugged body diode with no need for an external diode, improved system-level efficiency, and avalanche ruggedness.
Cree is endeavoring to change the way electric vehicles are powered for commercial and consumer markets the world over. In a recent news release, Cree’s CEO, Gregg Lowe said, “The work with StarPower and Yutong Group is a great example of how strong partnerships can deliver innovative solutions to the marketplace. As the world leader in silicon carbide, Cree is continuing to expand capacity to meet market demands with our industry-leading power MOSFETs to help achieve a new, more efficient future.”
Cree’s technology and ambitions suit Yutong’s drive to provide the world with more sustainable and efficient travel, with their partnership providing a bolster to the incorporation of SiC-powered vehicle evolution and rapid market adoption.
Another company based in China, StarPower, designs and manufactures IGBT/MOSFET/IPM/FRD/Rectifier modules and customized modules for a variety of applications including EVs. In 2008, the company entered the new energy market and has since gained worldwide recognition from customers as a leader in this space. The company manufactures its modules in a clean-room environment. Both automated production and testing lines are compliant with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 quality management system, and TS 16949 automotive standard.
StarPower modules are industry-leading in their design. As recently as 2017, the company’s automotive production headquarters was founded in Shanghai. This has enabled the provision of its products with better capacity and quality guarantees for its customers.
Together, the trio of Yutong, Cree, and StarPower are unified in their efforts to place SiC technologies at the forefront of the EV revolution.