Feb.23, China – Beijing Chehejia Automobile Technology Co., Ltd. (Chehejia), a Li Auto’s affiliate, and Hunan Sanan Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (Sanan Semiconductor) will set up a joint venture, according to an announcement of the simple case of concentration of business operators by the Anti-Monopoly Department of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).
Details of the cooperation
According to the public document, Chehejia intends to establish and operate a joint venture company with Sanan Semiconductor, in which Chehejia holds a 70% equity interest in the joint venture company and Sanan Semiconductor holds a 30% equity interest in the joint venture company.
Sanan Semiconductor is a 100% subsidiary of Sanan Optoelectronics Co., Ltd., and is one of the leading domestic LED chip producers in China.
In response to the anti-monopoly demand, the document shows that in the new energy passenger car drive motor controller SiC (silicon carbide) chip research and development market, both parties account for less than 5%. It is presumed that the two joint venture companies will be mainly engaged in the research and development of SiC chips for new energy passenger car drive motor controllers in the future.
Why it matters
Silicon carbide is an important module of the new generation of semiconductors. In new energy vehicles, silicon carbide chips have obvious advantages over the current main application of silicon chips, whose characteristics of high voltage and high temperature resistance make silicon carbide chips more efficient and lighter, which can help new energy vehicles improve their driving range. However, at present, the domestic silicon carbide industry is still in its infancy, and there are not many companies that can produce silicon carbide power devices.
Recently, the first batch of silicon carbide diodes manufactured by Sanan Semiconductor was selected as the “Recommended Catalogue for the Promotion and Application of Automotive Chips”, marking the official “boarding” of Sanan Semiconductor’s automotive-grade power devices.
In an industry meeting at the end of last year, Chen Dongpo, deputy general manager of Sanan Optoelectronics said, silicon carbide in the long-range mileage models will be priority penetration, and is expected to 2023-2024 long-range mileage vehicles 80%-90%, or even 100% will be imported silicon carbide devices.
According to a research report by Guosheng Securities, the market size of SiC (silicon carbide) power devices for new energy vehicles will reach $1.55 billion by 2025. It also points out that the “Golden Decade” of SiC for automotive applications is about to open.
The establishment of a joint venture between Chehejia and Sanan Semiconductor means that Li Auto has started to lay out the silicon carbide industry in advance in order to gain an advantage in future competition. Currently, Tesla Model 3 and domestic BYD Han have taken the lead in applying SiC modules in motor controllers.
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