Kia EV6 Will Get Increased Range And Decreased Charging Time With Improved Battery Technology

Electric Vehicles / Comments

With advanced new silicon carbide power modules, Kia will improve its entire EV range.

Manufacturers across the globe are continuously pushing battery technology for increased range, and Kia is the latest carmaker to improve its battery tech for more efficiency. Its new battery technology will use new silicon carbide power modules that boost performance, range, and charging times.

The Korean brand has teamed up with STMicroelectronics, a company specializing in semiconductor technologies, to boost the performance of its E-GMP electric-vehicle platform used by cars such as the Kia EV6.

Five new third-generation SiC-MOSFET-based power modules are set to be used on the platform, giving Kia more flexibility regarding power ratings. These modules are more reliable thanks to advanced sintering technology and robust construction.

2022-2023 Kia EV6 Driving Front Angle KIA STMicroelectronics
2022-2023 Kia EV6 Driving Front Angle

"ST's SiC-MOSFET-based power modules are the right choice for our traction inverters, enabling longer range. The cooperation between our two companies has realized a significant step towards more sustainable electric vehicles, leveraging ST's continuous technological investment to be the leading semiconductor actor in the electrification revolution," said Mr. Sang-Cheol Shin, Inverter Engineering Design Team at Hyundai Motor Group.

The new power modules are housed inside ST's Acepack Drive, which is optimized for automotive applications and easy to manufacture and integrate into EV drive units.

The main semiconductors featured in these modules feature industry-leading figures of merit (compared to rivals), low switching energy, and improved performance in power-conversion efficiency.

2022-2023 Kia EV6 Driving Back View KIA

These new modules are also smaller than traditional silicon power semiconductors and can handle higher operating voltages, which improves performance and charging times. Energy efficiency is also increased via direct liquid cooling, which offers increased range capabilities.

The SiC tech is also being implemented elsewhere in the EV framework, such as in DC-DC converters and onboard chargers with a bi-directional operation (vehicle-to-grid power transfer). The modules are also robust and perfect for the arduous life of the automotive world thanks to their use of active metal brazed (AMB) substrate technology, known for excellent thermal efficiency and mechanical strength.

2022-2023 Kia EV6 Rear View KIA

"ST silicon carbide solutions are enabling major automotive OEMs to set the pace of electrification when developing future generations of EVs. Our third-generation SiC technology ensures the greatest power density and energy efficiency, resulting in superior vehicle performance, range, and charge time," said Marco Monti, President, Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics.

Kia already employs this technology on its RWD models, with AWD models using standard silicon modules on the front motors for cost reasons. Hence, we expect only AWD models to benefit the most from this move. The EV6 currently offers up to 320 horsepower from its dual motor setup and a range of up to 310 miles in rear-wheel-drive configuration.

With charging speeds of up to 350 kW, the EV6 can regain 217 miles of range in 18 minutes. According to Hyundai's Head of Electrification Development Center, Choi WooSuk, the new 1,200-volt modules increased the range by up to 5%. They increased charging speeds by up to three times compared to a regular 400-volt silicon module.

The above leads us to believe that the AWD EV6's range could be extended from 282 miles to 296 miles.

2022-2023 Kia EV6 Interior Overview KIA
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