Developing the next generation of power electronics for tomorrow’s electrified vehicles

Press Release: AVL Leads EU Project HiEFFICIENT

As part of the HiEFFICIENT project, AVL is collaborating with 32 European partners to develop the next generation of power electronics for electrified vehicles, charging infrastructure and testing solutions. AVL’s focus is on modular power electronics for all types of electrification testbed devices and the latest power converter technologies for electrified vehicles.

Graz, Austria, December, 2021: First of May 2021, the HiEFFICIENT project – a Research and Innovation Action funded by the ECSEL Joint Undertaking – was launched under the lead of AVL List GmbH. In this three-year project 33 partners from nine European countries are collaborating with a total budget of 41 million Euros. To stay at the forefront of future mobility trends, AVL has a long history in coordinating such collaborative research projects, be it on national or international level.

HiEFFICIENT is the next step to shape the future of e-mobility, by developing highly efficient, reliable and compact power electronics (PE). The main focus is on the reliability and integration of wide bandgap (WBG) technologies in electronic power circuits and systems of electrified vehicles, testing systems, and charging infrastructures.

To boost this development and market introduction in automotive applications, the HiEFFICIENT partners have set ambitious goals to achieve higher acceptance and the maximum benefit in using WBG semiconductors:

  • Reduction in volume of 40%, by means of integration on all levels (component-, subsystem- and system level),
  • Increase efficiency beyond 98%, while reducing losses of up to 50%,
  • Increase reliability of WBG power electronic system to ensure a lifetime improvement of up to 20%.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the project consortium is an outstanding team of well-known European industrial companies and research institutes, being located along the whole value chain, starting from semiconductors industry and ending up with OEMs. AVL will collaborate with many partners in different technology fields. To name a few, AVL works together with:

  • AT&S on highly advanced power modules,
  • FH Joanneum to design the most compact power electronic systems,
  • RWTH Aachen, Silicon Austria Labs, TU Chemnitz, Virtual Vehicle, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel on power electronics lifetime and reliability,
  • TNO to design innovative cooling solutions, and
  • Mercedes Benz AG and Ford Otosan to consider latest OEM requirements.

In the project, technological fundamentals for highly efficient, compact and scalable eDrive components and for exploiting the cost potential of new semiconductor technologies (SiC and GaN) are being investigated and demonstrated under application conditions. These represent significant contributions to the key technology of emission-free mobility. The collaboration with partners at all levels enables AVL to to design and build more reliable and advanced power electronics for all types of automotive applications. This includes highly advanced test solutions for the development of new electric vehicles as well as the development of leading edge subsystems on board of a vehicle.

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This project has received funding from the ECSEL Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007281. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, France, Italy, and Turkey.

About AVL
With more than 11,000 employees, AVL is the world’s largest independent company for development, simulation and testing in the automotive industry, and in other sectors. Drawing on its pioneering spirit, the company provides concepts, solutions and methodologies to shape future mobility trends. AVL creates innovative and affordable technologies to effectively reduce CO2 by applying a multi-energy carrier strategy for all applications – from hybrid to battery electric and fuel cell technologies. The company supports customers throughout the entire development process from the ideation phase to serial production. To accelerate the vision of smart and connected mobility AVL has established competencies in the fields of ADAS, autonomous driving and digitalization.
AVL’s passion is innovation. Together with an international network of experts that extends over 26 countries and with 45 Tech- and Engineering Centers worldwide, AVL drives sustainable mobility trends for a greener future. In 2020, the company generated a turnover of 1.7 billion Euros, of which 12% are invested in R&D activities.