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Europe | Nouvelles technologies | Energies


The ModulED project is researching and building a new powertrain for 3rd generation electric vehicles based on mass production and lower cost requirements.

Publié le 29 avril 2021

Modular Electric Drivetrains

The ModulED project is researching and building a new powertrain for 3rd generation electric vehicles based on mass production and lower cost requirements.


Starting date : Oct. 2017 > Sept. 2020

Lifetime: 36 months

Program in support :  H2020-GV-04-2017

Next generation electric drivetrains for

fully electric vehicles, focusing on high

efficiency and low cost


Status project : complete

CEA-Leti's contact :

Charley Lanneluc

Bernard Strée


Project Coordinator: CEA-Leti (FR)


  • BE: Punch Powertrain
  • DE: RWTH Aachen University, ZG GmbH
  • FR: Efficient Innovation, Siemens Industry Software
  • NL: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
  • SE: Chalmers Tekniska Hoegskola
  • SW: Brusa Elektronik

Target market: n/a


  • «DC-Bus capacitors influence in a GaN Motor Drive Inverter
    PCIM», C. Lanneluc, P. Perichon, D. Bergogne, Nuremberg
    13th-16th of May, 2019.

Investment:  € 7.2 m.

EC Contribution€ 7.2 m.



CEA-Leti is coordinator of the ModulED project.

  • CEA-Leti is involved in developing the power electronics for ModulED along with a >100 kW, gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor-based inverter for automotive applications dedicated to a new generation of multiphase high-speed motors (up to 22,500 rpm). Using GaN devices reduces the inverter volume and increases its efficiency due to low on-state resistance and unrivalled switching performance.

  • CEA-Leti is working on parallelization of discrete components to increase the current capability of the GaN inverter (up to 4 parallel discrete devices achieved). This increased current capacity will increase torque and hence vehicle acceleration. The Institute has successfully performed parallelization for 2 discrete devices (tested at 300 V, 90 A). It has also performed parallelization with 4 discrete devices (up to 200 V / 60 A) and is continuing work on this configuration.

  • CEA-Leti is addressing mechanical integration inside the motor housing to ensure optimum system compactness (motor + transmission + gearbox + inverter + cooling). To achieve this, the Institute is cooperating closely with a European partner for integration of the power electronics as close as possible to the motor (inside the housing) along with the related fluid cooling system.

  • CEA-Leti is also involved in the local control and communication interface between the power part, the control part and the driver. This interface, also located within the motor housing, is designed to detect failures, high temperatures, bad commands and system switching to safety mode. The main objectives are to first protect the driver in the car and then protect the mechanical, electrical and magnetic equipment in the system.

  • Electrification of passenger cars and light-duty vehicles will have a knock-on effect on reducing greenhouse gas emission from the transport sector, which remains the highest emitter due to fossil fuel-powered engines. However, the maturity of electrical drives and electrical engines needs a final push to achieve better performance, comfort and lower cost to prompt mass adoption of electric vehicles in Europe and beyond. ModulED is aimed at developing a new generation of modular electric engine based around a buried-permanent magnet motor with limited use of rare earth metals and an electric drivetrain for various configurations of Full and Hybrid Electric Vehicles (taking into account cost, environmental impact, efficiency and mass production readiness). The multiphase e-motor will integrate the latest GaN inverter for power electronics, advanced control with higher fault tolerance and advanced cooling features based on reduced sizing and higher efficiency. It will be coupled with a performance electrical drive and transmission adapting new regenerative braking strategies. The project takes into account industrial and user requirements as well as environmental impacts, through life cycle analysis, to gear activities towards full vehicle design and production of each component and the entire powertrain. New virtual models will be developed for reliable design and simulation of all component features. Demonstration on a BMW i3 or similar vehicle will be performed on project completion to validate the high-performance powertrain. ModulED associates nine cutting edge partners from automotive, power electronics and powertrain specialists with three research centers, three Tier-1 suppliers and SMEs.


  • The GaN inverter will be the world’s first to be integrated into an automotive application and into a motor housing. The ModulED project will demonstrate the relevance of GaN technology for automotive applications and the reality of its challenge to SiC technology (same breakdown voltage, 650 V and lower voltage), which is mature and currently used by industry.