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Creating a new UK supply chain in automotive power electronics

As the first of its kind, the ESCAPE project gives McLaren Applied a competitive advantage in the race to create a full UK supply chain for automotive power electronics. The Catapult’s testing and validation capability is vital to this project, perfectly complementing the activities of the other 12 partners.

Steve Lambert
Head of Electrification at McLaren Applied Technology

Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult is playing a critical role in the development of supply chains for electric vehicles in the UK and across the globe – a market in power electronics, motors, and drives (PEMD) predicted to be worth £5 billion in the UK by 2025.

The Catapult is delivering three projects – ESCAPE, @FutureBEV and Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres – to create new UK supply chains and accelerate electrification and net zero.

ESCAPE, part-funded by a £9.7 million grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), will produce game changing technology supporting the drive for electrification in the UK and worldwide.

 It brings together 13 partners, including Clas-SiC Wafer Fab to scale-up their manufacturing process. McLaren Applied delivered the motor powertrain using SiC semiconductors provided by Clas-SiC, using 800V rated SiC semiconductors, which delivers faster vehicle charging

Turbo Power Systems developed rapid charging technology for the UK market, expected to exceed 120,000 rapid and 60,000 ultra-rapid vehicle chargers by 2030.

The Catapult provided design expertise and modelling software. The ESCAPE project created two markets, enabling Clas-SiC to benefit from economies of scale and proved the principle of a 800V SiC converter.

@FutureBEV, £30.5m project, part funded by a £15m grant from APC and IUK. Accelerated Technologies for Future Battery Electric Vehicles will ensure competitive powertrains in function and costs and enable UK technology transformation to zero emission mobility. BMW bring together a development team from industry and academia. Together the team will develop a new UK supply chain for sub-components and system capability for future electromobility. The technology drives battery electric vehicles from niche to mainstream.

The Catapult played a vital role in the creation of the £80 million ‘Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres’ project, securing industry support of around £150 million to deliver the UK wide electrification challenge.

ESCAPE is a £20m project, incorporating 12 partners, creating, or safeguarding 66 jobs in engineering and 137 jobs in engineering and manufacturing

Successful exploitation of ESCAPE will result in over £66m further UK investment in SiC R&D and capital expenditure