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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA


Back in May of 2021, the HiEFFICIENT project, a Research and Innovation Action funded by the ECSEL Joint Undertaking, was launched under the lead of AVL List GmbH. The three-year project comprises 33 partners from nine European countries collaborating with a total budget of 41 million Euros. AVL says it has a long history in coordinating such collaborative research projects on national or international levels to stay at the forefront of future mobility trends.

AVL says that HiEFFICIENT is the next step to shape the future of e-mobility, by developing highly efficient, reliable and compact power electronics (PE). The main focus is on the reliability and integration of wide bandgap (WBG) technologies in electronic power circuits and systems of electrified vehicles, testing systems, and charging infrastructures.

To boost this development and market introduction in automotive applications, the HiEFFICIENT partners have set ambitious goals to achieve higher acceptance and the maximum benefit in using WBG semiconductors:

  • Reduction in volume of 40%, by means of integration on all levels (component-, subsystem- and system level),

  • Increase efficiency beyond 98%, while reducing losses of up to 50%,

  • Increase reliability of WBG power electronic system to ensure a lifetime improvement of up to 20%.

To achieve these ambitious goals, the project consortium is an outstanding team of well-known European industrial companies and research institutes, is located along the whole value chain, starting from the semiconductors industry and ending up with OEMs. AVL will collaborate with many partners in different technology fields. To name a few, AVL works together with:

  • AT&S on highly advanced power modules,

  • FH Joanneum to design the most compact power electronic systems,

  • RWTH Aachen, Silicon Austria Labs, TU Chemnitz, Virtual Vehicle, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel on power electronics lifetime and reliability,

  • TNO to design innovative cooling solutions

  • Mercedes Benz AG and Ford Otosan to consider latest OEM requirements.

In the project, technological fundamentals for highly efficient, compact and scalable eDrive components and for exploiting the cost potential of new semiconductor technologies (SiC and GaN) are being investigated and demonstrated under application conditions. These represent significant contributions to the key technology of emission-free mobility. Furthermore, the collaboration with partners at all levels enables AVL to to design and build more reliable and advanced power electronics for all types of automotive applications. This includes highly advanced test solutions for the development of new electric vehicles as well as the development of leading edge subsystems on board of a vehicle.