Wolfspeed and ZF to build world’s largest silicon carbide plant

American silicon carbide (SiC) specialist Wolfspeed has announced its plan to build the world’s largest SiC fabrication plant in Saarland, Germany, to increase capacity for the EV market. The move is supported by a large investment from ZF, with a joint R&D center in Germany also on the way.

Silicon carbide semiconductors are more power efficient than regular silicon, which gives them some value in industrial, energy, and, of course, electric vehicle applications, where manufacturers are constantly looking for better efficiency to increase EV range.

Closer to the EV market

Wolfspeed already supplies SiC parts to Jaguar Land Rover and General Motors, with an agreement with Mercedes-Benz for its next-gen EV platform from 2025. Now, Wolfspeed is looking to increase its supply to the EV market with a new SiC plant in Saarland, Germany, closer to several important players in the automotive industry.

The new Saarland plant is located on a 14-hectare former coal-fired power plant site. It will cost around 2,7 billion euros, with an expected 20 to 25% subsidy from the EU thanks to the Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) project. Construction is scheduled to start as soon as the European Commission approves this financial aid.

With help from ZF

The plant will produce “next-generation Silicon Carbide devices”, according to Wolfspeed, which implies even greater efficiency than the currently quoted 10% driving range improvements for EVs.

ZF has also significantly invested in the new Wolfspeed SiC plant as part of a large-scale partnership between the two companies. ZF wants to use SiC technology in 800 V EV applications and is also building a joint R&D center with Wolfspeed to innovate further in the silicon carbide space.


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