US semiconductor manufacturerhas won as another electric car manufacturer as a customer. The brand has signed a long-term supply contract with Onsemi for the EliteSiC silicon carbide power module.
The SiC semiconductors – specifically named Onsemi EliteSiC MOSFET, 1200 V, M3E – are expected to enable Zeekr to increase the efficiency of its electric cars’ powertrain, leading to improved performance, faster charging speeds and longer range. The big advantage of SiC semiconductors is precisely that efficiency – therefore the inverters themselves can be smaller and, due to the lower heat loss, the corresponding cooling systems can also be dimensioned smaller, which further reduces the energy requirement.
The announcement does not specify in which vehicles the Onsemi semiconductors will be used. However, Onsemi emphasises the long-term orientation of the partnership: the supply agreement now concluded should enable the two companies to “build a stronger supply chain relationship to support ZEEKR’s growth over the next decade”.
Zeekr is part of Geely and uses the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) developed by the parent company for its electric vehicles. In other words, if Zeekr successfully integrates the Onsemi semiconductors into the SEA, other Geely brands could possibly enter into their own agreements with the US semiconductor manufacturer in the future and adopt the technology more easily thanks to Zeekr’s groundwork.
“With cutting-edge technologies such as advanced SiC, ZEEKR will be able to offer electric vehicles with improved performance and even lower carbon emissions,” says Andy An, CEO of Zeekr Intelligent Technology. “As a brand committed to sustainability, ZEEKR will continue to explore different ways to accelerate the transition towards new energy vehicles.”
“A reliable supply chain is critical to business success and, after significant investments in our SiC end-to-end supply chain, onsemi can offer this strategic value to customers,” said Hassane El-Khoury, president and CEO of Onsemi. “This agreement will help our continued ramp of SiC operations, enabling us to offer industry-leading power devices that help our customers deploy the most efficient and highest performing EVs on the market.”
Onsemi also counts Volkswagen, BMW and Hyundai-Kia among its customers.