Developing motors and inverters for Evs
The world’s climate change problem and increasingly rigorous environmental regulations are behind the projected growth in demand for EV motors, inverters, and other products. At Meidensha, we see EVs as a growth business.
The electri¬fication and digitalization of automobiles can be thought of as a once-in-a-century revolution. We foresee massive growth for the electric vehicle market and greater demand for smaller, high-effi¬ciency EV motors and inverters.
Under Medium-term Management Plan 2020, Meidensha is actively committing resources to this ¬field, aiming to build production systems suited to the market and expand our Automobile-related Business.
1. The environment surrounding the automobile industry and future technological trends
The accelerating shift from gasoline and diesel vehicles to EVs has been labeled a once in a hundred-year upheaval. The tide of electrification of automobiles is rising around the world, such as the future prohibition of sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles in Europe, and China promoting EVs/PHEVs on a national level. From a technological perspective, there have been improvements in battery performance, and we are gradually creating the foundation for the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market.
In this environment, (1) miniaturization, (2) improved output density, and (3) reduced cost are required for future EV drive systems. It is important to work towards miniaturizing and lightening components and minimizing loss in order to extend the range per charge. Furthermore, because the cost of electric vehicles is higher than gasoline-powered vehicles, the national government is providing subsidies. In order to make the cost of electric vehicles on par with gasoline-powered vehicles, it is necessary to work to reduce the cost of EV drive systems.
2. Aiming to further miniaturize motors and inverters
Motors and inverters are integral components of EVs. In order to achieve higher efficiency and lighter weight, as well as achieve vehicles with a flat floor and a roomy interior, there is strong demand for further miniaturization of components.
In order to achieve miniaturization, for motors, we are working to improve the performance of permanent magnets and limit energy loss (iron loss) in the motor core. For inverters, we are working to miniaturize capacitors, which are one of the components used to improve cooling technology. To achieve further miniaturization, units that integrate motors and inverters are under development. By including motors and inverters in a single case, cabling is reduced, required installation space is reduced by 30%, and weight is reduced by 15% in comparison to motors and inverters being installed separately.
From 2017, we will be able to display prototypes at exhibitions and commence mass production at will. There are instances in which it is better to install motors and inverters separately; however, if the structure is optimized for integration, the merits of integration are considerable.
Through these measures, we plan to increase the output volume of inverters to five times the level of 2009 by 2020.
By 2025, we aim to increase the output volume to 15 times that of 2009 by replacing the current silicone (Si) power semiconductors used for inverters with silicone carbide (SiC).
3. Buildup of EV Component Mass Production Equipment
Presently, our 100% subsidiary KOFU MEIDENSHA ELECTRIC MFG. CO., LTD. manufactures EV motors and our Numazu Works makes EV inverters. However, in July 2018, we decided to pursue an approximately ¥7 billion buildup of EV component production equipment. The buildup, which is spread across three domestic works (Numazu, Nagoya, and
Kofu), will help us win new mass production orders.
Through this investment, we plan to add a new EV component production base at Nagoya Works, build mass production lines, and establish a production system capable of putting out 170,000 inverter integrated motor units yearly.
KOFU MEIDENSHA ELECTRIC MFG. CO., LTD., meanwhile, is constructing a new building and adding to its mass production equipment. This will bring its EV motor production capacity to 370,000 units yearly when combined with its existing production lines. Mass production from the equipment implemented at the Nagoya and Kofu Works is scheduled to start in FY2019. The buildup of the EV inverter production equipment at Numazu Works is complete, raising that workplace’s production capacity to 250,000 units annually. Mass production began in April 2019.
4. Issue of Green Bonds
In July 2019, we issued green bonds through public offering for the purpose of funding mass-production equipment for Motors and Inverters for Electric Vehicles.
By issuing green bonds, we plan to expand our capital procurement resources and deepen the understanding of a wide range of stakeholders regarding our active environmental initiatives.
For more information, please refer to our web page (“MUFG Sets Sustainable Finance Goals”).
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