Toyota and Denso have developed a new semiconductor technology which could improve fuel efficiency by up to ten percent.

Toyota and Denso have developed a new semiconductor technology which could improve fuel efficiency by up to ten percent.

Built using a new silicon carbide (SiC) compound, the semiconductors promise to "substantially reduce" the amount of power which is lost in hybrid vehicles. As Toyota explains, "Semiconductors play a key role in the hybrid system, located in the power control unit (PCU) which governs the flow of electricity from the battery to the electric motor, and sends electricity generated under braking and deceleration to the battery for storage. However, PCUs account for about 25 percent of the total electrical power losses in hybrid vehicles, with 20 percent occurring in the semiconductors."

Toyota plans to begin testing the new semiconductors in prototypes shortly and early tests have already indicated a fuel efficiency improvement of more than five percent. If everything works out, the technology will likely be applied to the company's upcoming hybrid and electric vehicles.

Be part of something big