Electric vehicles drive power electronics market

June 30, 2016 // By Jessica Lipsky
Vehicle hybridization will drive the power electronics market for the foreseeable future, in what French firm Yole Developpment forecasts as “the golden era for electric vehicles.” If customers adopt the driving technology and governments keep on subsidizing the field, that is.

The driving power of electric and hybrid vehicles (EHV) was outlined in Yole’s report Status of The Power Electronics Industry 2016 , which also focused on market forecasts for wafers, inverters, MOSFETs and IGBTs through 2021. It also touches on industry consolidation.

Last year was difficult for power electronics as the market contracted, with the global value of power ICs, power modules and discrete components decreasing 3% from $15.7 billion to $15.2 billion mainly due to a drop in the average selling price (ASP) of IGBT modules. EHV will represent a major part of the IGBT module market by 2021 while the power MOSFET market is expected to reach $1.2 billion for all applications in the same timeframe.

We expect this ASP trend to continue, mainly because of price pressure from the automotive market. But overall IGBT module and global power electronics market value should increase, as volume growth outweighs this ASP fall,” wrote Coralie Le Bret, technology and market analyst at Yole.

Power density increasing will be the main focus of the EHV industry in coming years. Overmolded modules and double side cooling will become mainstream in the future, Yole continued, particularly for mid-power, low-cost applications. Yole added that module design may evolve and remove packaging layers to optimize thermal management.

Yole analysts added that politics will play a big role in the future of EHV – particularly renewable energy and electrified vehicles – as well as the power electronics market. According to Yole’s nominal scenario, the power electronics market will reach $27 billion by 2030, but a “more pessimistic approach” to the political landscape would create a much different figure.

Another trend identified by Yole’s analysts focuses on wide band gap (WBG) technologies, where the adoption of WBG solutions will be generalized. Many companies already offer WBG-enabled devices and/or are involved in different R&D projects.

“WBG devices are used in some applications thanks to the high energy density