Eaton Helps Reduce Weight, Extend Range of Electric Vehicles with New Power-Dense Inverter Technology

Eaton’s new eMobility inverters are compact, power-dense and promise to extend the range of electric vehicles. // Photograph Courtesy of Eaton

Eaton’s eMobility business, based in Galesburg near Kalamazoo, today announced it has developed compact power-dense automotive inverters capable of increasing the range of electric vehicles.

The inverters, which draw electricity from the battery and control how it is applied to the motor to manage power and torque, will be tested by a global automaker in the first quarter 2019.

Eaton’s eMobility developed the vehicle inverters with a power density of 35 kilowatts per liter and 98 percent operating efficiency. The inverter’s high-power density and compact, lightweight design help maximize range while taking up minimal space in the vehicle.

“Most global automakers have different vehicle electrification strategies, so the products we develop must support a range of applications,” says Scott Adams, senior vice president of eMobility. “Regardless of the strategy, electric vehicles need efficient and compact power electronics, and our new line of efficient inverters can be tailored to a wide range of customer requirements and applications.

“The inverter market for electric vehicles is still emerging,” Adams says. “Among our advantages in this market are our established partnerships with key suppliers of power electronic components and the fact that our inverters comply with the critical ISO 26262 standard for functional safety.”

Eaton projects a range of different electric vehicles will represent 38 percent of the global passenger car market by 2030, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid-electric, and mild-hybrid electric. Eaton’s inverters can be used in all types of electric vehicles, as well as other alternative-fuel vehicles, such as hydrogen fuel cell cars.