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The current source inverter (CSI) can be used in traction drives for electric vehicle (EV)/hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications to overcome the drawbacks of the voltage source inverter (VSI). These include the need for a costly, bulky, high performance dc bus capacitor, and other undesirable characteristics that negatively impact not only VSI and motor reliability but also motor efficiency. In addition, the CSI offers several inherent advantages that could translate into a substantial reduction in inverter cost and volume, increased reliability, a much higher constant-power speed range, and improved motor efficiency and lifetime. This paper discusses the operation of a three-phase traction drive CSI as a flexible battery charger including reactive power compensation for EV/HEV applications and presents simulation and experimental results to verify the operation principles.