US silicon carbide wafers just got a big boost – here’s why it matters for EVs

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A Michigan manufacturer of silicon carbide (SiC) wafers, a key component in EV power electronics, just got a big loan from the US Department of Energy to ramp up production.

SK Siltron CSS announced today that it has secured a conditional loan from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for up to $544 million. The loan will come from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program administered by the DOE’s Loan Programs Office.

The loan, which is part of the Biden administration’s push to onshore EV manufacturing, will increase manufacturing capacity at SK Siltron CSS’ Bay City, Michigan, factory and create up to an additional 200 skilled jobs for a total of around 450 workers.

When the project is finished in 2027, the factory is expected to be among the top five manufacturers of SiC wafers globally.

SiC is a compound that has high thermal conductivity, excellent mechanical strength, and wide band gap. Silicon carbide wafers are more efficient at handling high power and conducting heat than incumbent silicon, and semiconductors made with SiC wafers can mean faster charging times and 5-10% more range for EVs.

However, the high-quality SiC wafers required to maximize these performance improvements are currently undersupplied, and demand is on the rise with EV sales. This LPO loan will help SK Siltron CSS address this market gap.

Read more: Michigan installs the US’s first wireless EV charging public roadway


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