Electric Powered Commercial Vehicles: Heavy Equipment, Trucks, and Buses

Electric Powered Commercial Vehicles: Heavy Equipment, Trucks, and Buses

Alan Mantooth, distinguished professor in electrical engineering, Yue Zhao, assistant professor in electrical engineering, and David Huitink, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, are part of a team working on 500kW traction inverters. The research on this critical component for power electric and hybrid electric vehicles received $2,163,630 in funding from the ARPA-E CIRCUITS Program.

The goal of the team’s project is to demonstrate that aggressive electrothermal co-design can achieve reliable, cost-competitive, high-performance results. The group is working toward a new traction inverter system that is five times more power-dense, four times lighter, and three times more powerful, which would make electric-powered vehicles more effective for commercial and individual use.

The overall project is a combination of several research areas, including simultaneous electro-thermal co-design methods, advanced integrated circuits and novel power module technology. The University of Arkansas leads a team consisting of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Caterpillar and Wolfspeed. The project is one year into a three-year project.