The automotive supplier BorgWarner has invested 500 million US dollars in the semiconductor manufacturer Wolfspeed and thus secures production capacities for silicon carbide semiconductors worth up to 650 million US dollars per year.
The investment is equivalent to 481.5 million euros. The exact scope of the potential supply of BorgWarner with SiC semiconductors from Wolfspeed cannot yet be precisely quantified. It is true that BorgWarner is entitled to “purchase up to 650 million US dollars worth of devices annually”, but this is subject to the condition that BorgWarner’s demand increases due to customer orders. And there are no details on the exact duration of the “multi-year agreement” either.
The semiconductor manufacturer had already announced an investment worth a total of 6.5 billion dollars (6.26 billion euros) in its Mohawk Valley plant in the US state of North Carolina at an investor day in October. There, the capacity of the company’s SiC production is to be expanded more than tenfold. The first construction phase is scheduled for completion in the 2024 financial year.
Wolfspeed and BorgWarner are also exploring deeper collaboration to accelerate technology development. BorgWarner is targeting $4.5 billion in electric vehicle sales by 2025 as part of its “Charging Forward” strategic plan.
“Silicon carbide-based power electronics play an increasingly important role for our customers as our electric vehicle business continues to accelerate,” said Frédéric Lissalde, president and CEO of BorgWarner. “We believe this agreement helps ensure that BorgWarner will have a reliable supply of high-quality silicon carbide devices, which are significant to the company’s inverter growth plans.”
“BorgWarner has been a strong partner with Wolfspeed for many years, and we are pleased to secure the investment from them which will be used to support our capacity expansion efforts and ensure we have a steady supply of product for their customers,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Wolfspeed. “This agreement, combined with our most recent announcement of a multi-billion-dollar materials expansion in North Carolina, confirms the industry transition from silicon to silicon carbide is well underway.”
Earlier in November, Jaguar Land Rover had already announced a strategic partnership with Wolfspeed to supply silicon carbide semiconductors for its next generation of electric cars. General Motors is also among Wolfspeed’s customers. The US carmaker uses Wolfspeed’s silicon carbide components in the integrated power electronics of its ‘Ultium Drive’ units – for both 400 and 800 volts.
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