Ideal Power Announced First Sampling of B-TRAN™ for EV Applications with Top 10 Global Automaker



KEY POINTS
  • On July 20, 2021, Ideal Power announced that a Top 10 global automaker will be sampling B-TRAN™ devices for electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain, power conversion, circuit protection, and other EV applications. The stock rose +34% on the news.
  • This represents the company’s first sampling announcement in the EV space, which is the largest segment in the $6 billion power switch market, a market forecasted to grow to $11 billion by 2026.
  • The Top 10 global automaker will bring resources from their advanced technology engineering team to test and evaluate B-TRAN™ and its driver for EV applications. The feedback and data from this testing will be shared with Ideal Power for incorporation into its commercial intelligent power module and potentially custom modules for EV applications.
  • Management expects there will be additional announcements in the second half of this year and believes B-TRAN™ can improve the drivetrain efficiency and range of EVs and potentially enable more economic and efficient drivetrain architectures.
  • The company is also engaging in sampling discussions with power equipment manufacturers focused on renewable energy, data centers, and other industrial and utility applications.
  • B-TRAN™ offers substantial performance improvements over conventional power semiconductors in applications across many sectors, including a >50% reduction in power losses, lower thermal management requirements, and smaller surface area requirements.
  • B-TRAN™ offers a unique symmetric bi-directional operation, which reduces the number of components required for application by 75% as compared to a conventional bi-directional switch utilizing IGBTs and diodes. Management believes this provides a strong competitive advantage in bi-directional applications, which are growing rapidly as transportation electrifies and power generation shifts to renewable energy coupled with energy storage.
  • Our prior content on IPWR can be accessed HERE.
OUR INSIGHTS

The Opportunities

With development and commercialization progressing, Ideal Power is well-placed to capture a slice of the large and growing $6.0 billion IGBT power switches market. Owing to their superior performance and efficiency, bi-directionality, and fewer thermal management requirements, B-TRAN™ power switches may be able to replace IGBTs in many applications. As the primary end markets such as EVs, renewables, and data center UPS grow, B-TRAN™ could be looking at expanded market opportunities. Currently, there is no high-efficiency bi-directional design available in the market, which makes potential competitors also potential licensees for B-TRAN™ technology, according to the company.

The Obstacles

The company has a history of operating losses. If the focus on B-TRAN™ development and commercialization is delayed or unsuccessful, the company’s business operations will be adversely affected. The company’s results will be materially affected if its semiconductor fabricator partners are unable to successfully and cost-effectively develop and implement new process steps required for bi-directional semiconductor device production at the prototype stage or at scale or if required time to evaluate, redesign, test, and certify is longer than expected. Competitors are expected to include well-established incumbent power semiconductor device suppliers.

On July 20, 2021, Ideal Power announced that a Top 10 global automaker will be sampling B-TRAN™ devices for electric vehicle (EV) drivetrain, power conversion, circuit protection, and other EV applications. The stock rose +34% on the news.

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