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Electric Cars and Solar Compete for the Same Parts

  • Transistors are crucial to convert power in vehicles, panels
  • Solar inverter makers are waiting almost a year for the parts
SunPower solar

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

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Electric vehicles and solar tend to get lumped together as partners in the climate-friendly push to phase out fossil fuels. Now they’re competing head-to-head for high-tech components that have been in short supply.

The parts, electric transistors, are key for both EVs and solar panels to convert power between direct and alternating current for use in light bulbs, appliances and, yes, cars. As EV production has boomed, solar-component companies are being forced to wait nearly a year for the parts.