New semiconductor technology could be used to improve fuel efficiency in Toyota's hybrid and electric range by ten per cent, fleetnews.co.uk reports.
Whilst semiconductors are a key part in hybrid fuel systems - governing the flow of electricity - they are also responsible for around 20 per cent of the total power losses for vehicles in which they've been fitted. As such, unlocking a way of creating more efficient semiconductors could provide a way to drastically improve fuel efficiency.
Now, after a campaign of research, Toyota appears to have done just that with a new efficient semiconductor which could provide real-world savings of around ten per cent.
It works by using silicon carbide (SiC) instead of traditional silicon, torquenews.com notes. Not only that, the new measures could also reduce the power control unit (in which semiconductors are housed) by 80 per cent.
All this is academic at the moment, as Toyota needs to test its newest creation in public road trials - which are set to take place later in the year. Initial tests have been undertaken, though, which indicated improvements in fuel efficiency of around five per cent.
The first chance most people will get to see the semiconductor will be at the 2014 Automotive Engineering Exposition in Yokohama, where Toyota is expected to showcase its new SiC technology.