Founded in 2014, the American company Navitas Semiconductor wants to revolutionize the market for electric cars by increasing their efficiency. The company relies on gallium nitride, a material with unique properties.
Gallium nitride (GaN)-based power cells are up to 20 times faster than their silicon counterparts, offering triple the charging speed while cutting battery weight and size in half. The technology, Navitas says, is relatively new, but its widespread adoption is hampered by the material’s high cost, which can only be countered by increased production volumes.
Over the past three years, the company has worked with consumer electronics manufacturers like Dell in the United States, as well as Vivo and Xiaomi in China, which have shipped 35 million units. Navitas has made several rounds of financing, managing to raise $100 million from investors and generating $20 million in annual revenues. The company went public via SPAC takeover with a market capitalization of over $1 billion. Navitas plans to reach profitability in 2023.
Now the company wants to prove itself in the electric car market. The principal obstacle in this market, however, is that the car industry remains very sluggish. It takes 3 to 4 years to develop cars, so cars with gallium nitride-based charging units won’t go on sale until 2025 at the earliest. Navitas has already opened a representative office in Shanghai to establish cooperation with local companies. So far, none of the electric car manufacturers has announced a transition to GaN systems, but they have managed to establish a partnership with BRUSA HyPower, a supplier of power electronics for Porsche, Audi and Volkswagen.