With the vigorous development of the new energy vehicle market, the concept of new energy vehicles has passed the market sprout period. Consumers already have a full understanding of the safety and performance of electronic vehicles, but “mileage anxiety” is still a flaw. Although the density of charging piles in mass cities has increased, for those who have to go on a long journey, “faster refueling” and “easier to find gas stations” are still irreplaceable advantages of gasoline vehicles.
In order to solve the mileage problem of EV owners, on the one hand, EV manufacturers are working hard to find a new solution on the battery, and on the other hand, the market is also expected a more complete charging and swapping infrastructure system.
By 2030, a high-quality charging infrastructure system with extensive coverage, moderate scale, reasonable structure, and complete functions will be basically established in China to strongly support the development of the new energy vehicle industry and effectively meet the charging needs.
This indicates that the number of charging piles in China is expected to increase greatly in the future, and the increasing charging piles will inevitably drive the development of related semiconductor products.
How great is the charging pile market potential?
According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China reached 7.058 million and 6.887 million in 2022 with a year-on-year increase of 96.9% and 93.4% respectively. Among them, the sales volume of pure electric vehicles was 5.365 million, a year-on-year increase of 81.6%.
In 2022, the increase in charging infrastructure was 2.593 million units, of which the increase in public charging piles increase by 91.6% year-on-year, and the increase in private charging piles built with vehicles continued to rise, increasing by 225.5% year-on-year. As of December 2022, the cumulative number of charging infrastructure nationwide was 5.21 million units with a year-on-year increase of 99.1%. As of the end of May this year, the scale of charging infrastructure has reached 6.356 million units.
However, judging from the increase in market share, the development speed of charging piles has not yet fully caught up with the development speed of new energy vehicles. From the perspective of market ownership, in 2022, the number of charging infrastructure in China reached 5.21 million units, the number of new energy vehicles was 13.1 million, and the vehicle-to-pile ratio was 2.5:1.
From the perspective of increment, in 2022, the increment of China’s charging infrastructure was 2.593 million units, the sales volume of new energy vehicles was 6.887 million units, and the increment ratio of vehicles to piles was 2.7:1.
Based on such data comparison, it can be predicted that the charging pile market will develop faster in order to achieve a vehicle-to-pile ratio of 1:1 and to catch up with the rapidly growing new energy vehicle market.
“Faster charging” drives the power device market
In the construction of charging stations, the main cost comes from the hardware equipment of charging piles. Specifically split the hardware equipment of the charging pile. Take the DC charging pile with a common power of about 120kW as an example. Its equipment consists of charging modules, power distribution filtering equipment, monitoring and billing equipment, battery maintenance equipment, etc., and the charging module accounts for up to 50%.
At present, the biggest demand of new energy car owners for charging is faster, which puts forward relevant requirements for charging modules. The components in the charging module mainly include power devices, magnetic components, capacitors, PCB, etc. The main cost components are: power devices (30%), magnetic components (25%), capacitors (10%), PCB (10%), and others such as chassis fans account for 15%.
It is not difficult to discover that power devices are the core components to realize electric energy conversion. The development of new energy vehicles has put forward the requirements of high power density, high power and high efficiency for charging piles. In charging piles, high-voltage super-junction MOSFETs have become the mainstream choice for fast charging due to their high efficiency and low impedance. In 2025, the global DC pile SJ MOS market is expected to exceed 2 billion yuan.
The DC charging pile converts the input AC power into DC power through its own AC/DC charging module, and directly completes the transformation and rectification without using the OBC. Due to its lower conduction loss, switching loss, high reliability, and high power density, super junction MOSFETs have become mainstream high-power charging pile power device applications.
According to statistics from Infineon, a 100kW charging pile requires power devices worth 200-300 USD. It is estimated that with the continuous construction of charging piles, the global super junction MOSFET market for DC piles is expected to exceed 2 billion yuan in 2025, which will fully benefit from the charging rapid development of piles.
Silicon carbide materials also have more and more potential in the field of charging piles. Fierce competition in the market has led to the requirement for the overall cost reduction of the system. Long-term work in harsh environments (such as high-temperature, high-humidity, smoke, dust, etc.) has caused reliability problems. The pressure puts forward higher and higher overall machine efficiency requirements and so on.
Facing these technical challenges, more and more charging pile module engineers are beginning to seek third-generation power semiconductor silicon carbide solutions to achieve greater stand-alone capacity requirements with fewer devices.
In addition, some new technical directions of charging piles, such as high power (such as 30kW and above) to achieve fast charging of electric vehicles, two-way charging function to achieve energy feedback, higher and wider output voltage range (such as 200V- 750V or even 1000V) to cover various new energy vehicle batteries, etc. These new technological development directions also provide huge application opportunities for silicon carbide semiconductors.
“Smarter charging” drives other chips
Building an intelligent network of charging piles means that owners of new energy vehicles can pay fees through mobile phones, find nearby charging piles, and control charging progress. These functions require the support of related chips. In addition to the core power module, the charging pile is also composed of a control module, a communication module and other parts.
The control module plays a role in multiple links of the charging pile, such as controlling the entire charging process and completing the charging sequence for the car; completing the communication and control of the charging module (rectifier); supporting multiple AC and DC meters; the main control signal of the charging system; Indicator light control; motor input switch status, emergency button status detection.
In the communication module, the GPRS communication module communicates with the MCU through UART, which can realize data upload, thereby connecting the charging pile controller and the user. When monitoring the current, voltage and other data of the charging pile in real time, the communication module can also transmit the real-time collected data to the server. The display screen can display data such as charging capacity, cost, and charging time.
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Looking at it in more detail, there are also some chips that will also be used in charging piles, such as temperature detection chips: quantitatively analyze the relationship between electrical signals and temperature changes, establish a temperature prediction model, prevent accidents caused by excessive temperature, and improve Quality of temperature control.
It is not difficult to find in the above process that each module is inseparable from the MCU. In general, MCU can realize functions such as HMI, metering and billing, payment, data encryption and decryption, start and stop control of charging equipment, vehicle platform and Internet communication in charging piles.