ZF and Cree Advance the Electric Drive

ZF and Cree Advance the Electric Drive
  • A strategic partnership has been created to advance the Electric Powertrain with Silicon Carbide-Based Inverter
  • New Silicon Carbide-Based Inverter solutions help increase drive efficiency and extend the range of electric cars

Schweinfurt, Germany/Durham, USA. ZF Friedrichshafen AG and Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a US leader in silicon carbide semiconductors, announce a strategic partnership to create industry-leading, highly efficient electric drivelines.

With this strategic partnership, ZF and Cree are intensifying their existing cooperation. “We’re delighted that we're building on our cooperation with Cree using their Wolfspeed silicon carbide technology and are absolutely convinced that combining our strengths will further improve efficiency and competitive edge for our components and systems,” says Jörg Grotendorst, Head of the ZF E-Mobility Division.

The future use of silicon carbide-based power semiconductors will increase the range for electric vehicles in contrast to today's standard silicon technology. Due to high battery costs, the efficient electric drive represents an enormous growth potential for the foreseeable future. In particular, silicon carbide technology in conjunction with the 800-volt vehicle electrical system voltage makes a significant contribution to further increasing efficiency.

“Partnering with a tier-one leading global automotive supplier like ZF for the use of silicon carbide-based power inverters in next generation electric vehicles is indicative of the integral role silicon carbide plays in extending the capabilities of EVs everywhere,” said Gregg Lowe, CEO of Cree.

Electrified drivelines are making vast contributions to achieving worldwide emission targets and making mobility more sustainable.

Cree’s technology will initially be used to fulfill orders that ZF has already received for silicon carbide based electric drives from several leading global automakers. Through the partnership, ZF expects to make silicon carbide electric drivelines available to the market by 2022.

Since January 2016, ZF has bundled its electromobility activities in the E-Mobility Division headquartered in Schweinfurt, Germany. More than 9,000 employees work in this division, spread across various locations around the world.

Cree is committed to leading the global transition from silicon to silicon carbide and recently announced silicon carbide capacity expansion with a mega materials factory in Durham, N.C. and the world’s largest silicon carbide device manufacturing facility in New York. The company offers a comprehensive set of silicon carbide and GaN (Gallium nitride) power and RF (radio frequency) solutions through its Wolfspeed® business unit.

 

Jörg Grotendorst, Head of ZF Division E-Mobility and Cengiz Balkas, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Wolfspeed signing the partnership

 

About ZF & Cree

 

ZF Friedrichshafen AG

ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety systems. The company has a global workforce of 148,000 with approximately 230 locations in almost 40 countries. In 2018, ZF achieved sales of €36.9 billion. ZF is one of the largest automotive suppliers worldwide.

ZF allows vehicles to see, think and act. The company invests more than six percent of its sales in research and development annually – in particular for the development of efficient and electric drivelines and also in striving for a world without accidents. With its broad portfolio, ZF is advancing mobility and services in the passenger car, commercial vehicle and industrial technology sectors.

 

Cree, Inc

Cree is an innovator of Wolfspeed® power and radio frequency (RF) semiconductors and lighting class LEDs. Cree’s Wolfspeed product portfolio includes silicon carbide materials, power-switching devices and RF devices targeted for applications such as electric vehicles, fast charging, inverters, power supplies, telecom and military and aerospace. Cree’s LED product portfolio includes blue and green LED chips, high-brightness LEDs and lighting-class power LEDs targeted for indoor and outdoor lighting, video displays, transportation and specialty lighting applications.

 

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