Toyota augments the hybrid engine’s “brain” image

The Japanese automaker, the world’s leader when it comes to the efficient gasoline-electric hybrid cars, has announced a new development for the segment, which affects the computer chip.

As any electronic device, the complex system that governs a hybrid vehicle is controlled by a state of the art computer, and now Toyota has introduced a new computer chip that promises gas-electric hybrid cars could get a fuel efficiency boost of around 10% – also allowing the automaker to put the system on even more models from its range.

“A key way to improve fuel efficiency is to improve power semiconductor efficiency,” said Kimimori Hamada, a Toyota engineer.

Toyota officially announced that together with auto parts maker Denso Corp it has jointly developed a new semiconductor that uses a silicon/carbon compound that limits power loss and allows for a greater reduction of the hybrid system’s size.

The new chip’s silicon carbide compound is for the first time used in automobiles, although it already powers computer chips in trains and air conditioners and Toyota aims to equip its cars with it around 2020, after it has alleviated early problems – one of them being the price, as the new chip is 10 times more expensive than the current one.

Via Reuters