Ford Looks to Reduce Costs of Power Electronics in Next-Gen Plug-In Vehicles

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 5

Lowering Costs Are Key

Lowering Costs Are Key

It’s not just the cost of batteries that need to drop, says Ford.

Reduced Costs Should Lead to Cheaper Prices

Reduced Costs Should Lead to Cheaper Prices

Ford is hoping to make plug-in vehicles less expensive in the future by focusing on reducing the costs of power electronics.

Anand Sankaran, chief engineer and executive technical leader of energy storage and hybrid vehicle systems, stated:

“Power electronics is almost as expensive as batteries.  And the costs of both are coming down at similar rates.”

Power electronics are defined by Ford as the unit that, among other things “converts direct-current electricity from the battery to alternating-current electricity in order to power the electric motor,” according to the Detroit News.

Ford says that both battery and power electronics must be made less costly in next-gen plug ins.

The Detroit News says this:

“The power electronics box is responsible for transferring as much of the current as possible without wasting or losing energy. Ford’s most recent production-ready box transfers 93 percent of the energy.”

Ford’s Sankaran adds:

“You want a box that is really efficient.  Otherwise in every process you’re losing energy.”

Look for Ford’s future boxes to be both more efficient and less costly.  Hopefully, Ford will past this cost savings onto the consumer in the form of reduced pricing on its next-gen plug-in vehicles.

Source: Detroit News

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5 responses to "Ford Looks to Reduce Costs of Power Electronics in Next-Gen Plug-In Vehicles"

  1. David Murray says:

    similar electronics are used for the charging system. If the price is coming down, then that should make it easier to get 6.6kwh chargers in more vehicles.

  2. KenZ says:

    “Power electronics is almost as expensive as batteries. And the costs of both are coming down at similar rates.”

    Mainly because the initial sky high battery prices have plummeted. This is kinda like solar: silicon was always the major cost. Until it wasn’t. Now the BOS (balance of systems) costs are getting more needed attention.

  3. Spec9 says:

    Well, since the ‘power electronics’ as they define them are also used in hybrids, there should be enough mass manufacturing scale to bring them down in price.

    1. KenZ says:

      I thought most hybrids used a DC motor?

      1. Dave R says:

        Nope, just about all are permanent magnet AC motors that I am aware of.