Muscle for the EV Market
February 28, 2019
When you think of an electric vehicle, small sedans come to mind. At the onset of the EV industry, that was largely the extent of it. But as technology pushes forward and companies like GT Advanced Technologies bring baseline silicon carbide material to market, we are seeing product roadmaps from vehicle makers that now include pickup trucks among their EV offerings.
The pickup market is booming, and it has been for a long time. But the pickup truck is designed for a much more robust mission than the small sedans that have been dotting the EV landscape. It won’t be long before we see EV pickup trucks, and one of those is from a company called Rivian. This Michigan-based company is aiming to be for pickup trucks what Tesla is for cars. Amazon just funded Rivian to the tune of $700m, signaling that the technology is here now to make that happen. The truck will have four motors, allowing for an insane 0-60 mph in three seconds plus a tow rating of 11,000 pounds. A range of 450 miles is hoped for. An all-electric Ford F-series pickup is also on the near-term horizon. Once these and other new models debut, it will most surely accelerate the adoption of EVs in general.
The EV market has an enormously long supply chain comprising companies that make everything from tires to bumpers and everything in between. But because these are electric vehicles without internal combustion engines, the supply chain is entirely different. Everything is electric, demanding voltages and temperatures that far eclipse what basic silicon can withstand. Silicon carbide, a material that GT Advanced Technologies focuses on, will represent the underpinnings for circuits and modules that fill spaces once taken up by radiators, water pumps, and gas tanks. It’s a high-demand material with a relatively low supply. That bottleneck is one that GT will help to erase, since its focus is on producing high volumes of ‘prime-quality-plus’ SiC crystal and driving cost down simultaneously.
By bringing premium-quality silicon carbide to market affordably and in volume, GT Advanced Technology is going to give momentum to the EV market and allow these new pickup trucks to enter the market more affordably and sooner than anyone thought.