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This paper presents a cascaded H-bridge multilevel boost inverter for electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid EV (HEV) applications implemented without the use of inductors. Currently available power inverter systems for HEVs use a dc-dc boost converter to boost the battery voltage for a traditional three-phase inverter. The present HEV traction drive inverters have low power density, are expensive, and have low efficiency because they need a bulky inductor. A cascaded H-bridge multilevel boost inverter design for EV and HEV applications implemented without the use of inductors is proposed in this paper. Traditionally, each H-bridge needs a dc power supply. The proposed design uses a standard three-leg inverter (one leg for each phase) and an H-bridge in series with each inverter leg which uses a capacitor as the dc power source. A fundamental switching scheme is used to do modulation control and to produce a five-level phase voltage. Experiments show that the proposed dc-ac cascaded H-bridge multilevel boost inverter can output a boosted ac voltage without the use of inductors.