General Motors announced a strategic supplier agreement with Wolfspeed (previously Cree), concerning long-term supplies of silicon carbide (SiC) power device solutions.

GM intends to shift to more energy-efficient silicon carbide power electronics in its next-generation electric vehicles, based on the Ultium Drive.

"The silicon carbide will specifically be used in the integrated power electronics contained within GM’s Ultium Drive units in its next-generation EVs.

As a part of the agreement, GM will participate in the Wolfspeed Assurance of Supply ProgramTM (WS AoSP), which is intended to secure domestic, sustainable and scalable materials for EV production."

The increased efficiency of inverters directly translates into a higher range for electric vehicles, as well as perhaps being smaller and lighter. The SiC can be used also in other components like DC/DC converters and on-board chargers.

According to the agreement, the SiC power device solutions will be domestically sourced, produced at Wolfspeed’s new Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York.

"The silicon carbide power device solutions will be produced at Wolfspeed’s 200mm-capable Mohawk Valley Fab in Marcy, New York, which is the world’s largest silicon carbide fabrication facility. Launching in early 2022, this state-of-the-art facility will dramatically expand capacity for the company’s silicon carbide technologies, which are in increasing demand for EV production and other advanced technology sectors around the world."

Other manufacturers in the EV industry also already switched or are in the process of switching to the more efficient SiC power electronics.

Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain said:

“Our agreement with Wolfspeed represents another step forward in our transition to an all-electric future. Customers of EVs are looking for greater range, and we see silicon carbide as an essential material in the design of our power electronics to meet customer demand. Working with Wolfspeed will help ensure we can deliver on our vision of an all-electric future.”

Gregg Lowe, CEO of Wolfspeed said:

“Our agreement with GM further demonstrates the automotive industry’s commitment to delivering innovative EV solutions to the market and using the latest advances in power management to improve overall vehicle performance. This agreement ensures long-term supply of silicon carbide to GM to help them deliver on their promise of an all-electric future.”

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