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TM4 introduces a bi-directional charger inverter

In a strategic move to broaden its product offering, TM4 has introduced a new bi-directional charger inverter, the BCI20. TM4 developed this product in collaboration with Convertronix, a Québec-based company specialized in the design and manufacturing of power conversion equipment.

The TM4 BCI20 functions as battery charger and inverter for use in a variety of electric and hybrid vehicle applications. It is designed to use the full current range from the AC mains as defined in SAE J1772 for a maximum charge power of 18kW on 240 VAC. When the vehicle is in use, the charger becomes a dual inverter that can provide two independent three phase outputs of 9kVA each to power various AC auxiliary loads.

The charger combined with two inverter outputs is very beneficial for our customers. It simplifies the vehicle integration by combining multiple functionalities in one box, moving TM4 closer to our one-stop shop approach.

—Eric Azeroual, Sales and Customer Service director at TM4

The Lion Electric Company is TM4’s first client to experience the benefits of this new integrated product in their electric school buses.

The BCI20 satisfies the IP67 rating for reliable operation in harsh under-hood vehicle environments. It allows for a flexible installation in multiple mounting locations due to its compactness and lightness.

TM4 aims to expand this new series of product and offer to the North American and European markets both a single phase and 3 phase bidirectional charger inverter in 450VDC and 750VDC options.

The BCI20 will be shown for the first time at the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, 12-14 September in Novi, Michigan.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, TM4 designs and manufactures electric motors, generators, power electronics and control systems suitable for the commercial, automotive, marine, mining, rail, motorsports and recreational vehicle markets.



This type of everywhere to 18kW! power supply could work as a set of 'jumper leads' for stranded BEV's.


Charger/Inverter was pioneered by the people at AC Propulsion which was the basis for Tesla.

James McLaughlin

SJC, if I read this correctly, the application is a bit different than what AC Propulsion did. Instead of driving the traction motor, the inverter mode is for operating loads in the body, perhaps such as air conditioning which can be substantial in a bus. But this is much smaller than what AC Propulsion did. Still, a good development. Renault is doing the larger scale bidirectional approach in the Zoe.


James McLaughlin, you are absolutely correct.

This is a good development but only useful when you have 2 other 9kW motors onboard requiring inverters.. This really limits the applicability, as most air compressors/HVAC/ hydraulic pumps, etc designed for EVs run straight from HVDC or have their own internal optimized inverters.

TM4 really need to use their traction motor for the charger, then it would be rated at 200kW! 18kW charging is fairly useless for a heavy vehicle application with hundreds of kWh. For comparison, the Zoe is 43kW (small hatchback) to charge a 22kWh battery!

The Renault Zoe system is awesome. Perhaps TM4 should adapt this concept into something more powerful, or license the technology from Renault!

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