AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Toyota testing diamond-like material for better hybrid fuel efficiency

Toyota testing diamond-like material for better hybrid fuel efficiency image

Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Toyota | posted May 21, 2014 07:37

With it, Toyota hopes to improve mileage by at least 10 %.

Toyota is on the cutting-edge once again and this time testing a material that possesses hardness almost comparable to diamonds.

Found in nature and called ‘carbide,’ Toyota has harnessed this and developed it into a silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor that will be used in control units of their hybrids.

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With a carbide base, the chips theoretically will ‘have superior characteristics such as one-tenth the electrical power loss and 10 times the drive frequency’ and it will also allow Toyota to reduce the size of the ‘automotive power control units by 80 percent.’

Currently in testing phase, the Toyota hybrid vehicles using these chips have achieved 5 percent fuel efficiency.

Toyota plans to test drive units with this technology on public roads in Japan within this year and get it into production units by 2020.