The Ford Motor Company has selected Toshiba Corporation to supply automotive inverters for hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Ford plans to start mass production of new models of both kinds of vehicle in 2012.
Toshiba already has a June 2010 contract with Ford under which it will supply high-performance drive motors for HEV and PHEV from 2012, from its facility in Houston, Texas. The automotive inverters will be supplied to Ford with the motors as a set.
Toshiba will support Ford with a new inverter production line at its plant in Mie Prefecture, Japan, which has experience in manufacturing for automotive applications. The new line will have a production capacity of 150,000 inverters a year and be ready to start supply in April 2012, following final adjustments to manufacturing equipment and final qualification by Ford.
As the automobile industry moves toward a new generation of environmentally friendly vehicles, including HEV, PHEV and electric vehicles (EV), Toshiba is promoting advances in essential automotive technologies, from dedicated on-board control systems to batteries and Intelligent Traffic Systems.
Toshiba says that its development of key components for HEV, PHEV and EV, including inverters and drive motors, is an essential part of its strategy in growing this promising business.
Toshiba estimates that the global market for inverters for such vehicles will grow from ¥180 billion (US$2.25 billion) in fiscal year 2010 to ¥1.5 trillion (US$18.7 billion) in fiscal year 2020.
Toshiba is targeting fiscal year 2015 net sales of ¥800 billion (US$10 billion) from its power electronics business, including motors, inverters and rechargeable batteries, and is promoting accelerated globalization of the business.