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48 Volt Technology: Development &
Drivers
By Colin Pawsey & Peter Els
Edited by Will Hornick
Introduction
Back in 2011 the...
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48 Volt Technology Report by Colin Pawsey & Peter Els

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48 Volt Technology: Development & Drivers

In the early 1990’s there was a lot of excitement around the introduction of a 42V power supply. Due to the high cost of components and the lack of a real driving force for development this system was ultimately unsuccessful.

In today’s market components are much cheaper, technology has improved considerably, and the need to reduce CO2 emissions is a substantial driver for the concept of 48V. The challenge for OEM’s and suppliers is now to create an inexpensive alternative to hybrid vehicles, which will provide a significant reduction in CO2.

Automotive IQ has produced an exclusive report on this topic:
"48 Volt Technology: Development & Drivers"

Want to learn more? Download the report for free here:
http://bit.ly/TechReport48V

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48 Volt Technology Report by Colin Pawsey & Peter Els

  1. 1. 48 Volt Technology: Development & Drivers By Colin Pawsey & Peter Els Edited by Will Hornick Introduction Back in 2011 the five premierGermancarmanufacturers, Audi,BMW,Daimler,Porsche andVolkswagen, announcedtheiragreementtojointlyincorporateavarietyof architectural componentsforon-board powernetworksintotheirvehicles.The five OEM’sexpressedtheirintentiontoimplementa48-volt powersupply,andappealedtosupplierstoactivelyengage inresearchanddevelopmentof components for vehicleswitha48-voltelectricsystem. The concept of a highervoltage forE/E systemswasunderdiscussionasmuchas 15 yearsago in regard to a 42-volt system,andalthoughthe ideawasnottakenfurtheroriginally,the vehicle manufacturing landscape haschangedsignificantlysince then.Whenhighervoltageswere firstbeingconsidered,the drivingfactorswere predominantlycomfortfunctionswithinthe vehicle,buttodaythere isamore pressingneedforelectricvehicles,andamuchbroaderbase of powertrainandchassisfunctionswhich couldalsobenefitfroma48-voltsupply. Despite the potentialbenefits,the 42-voltsystemwasultimatelyunsuccessful due tothe highcostof componentsandthe lackof a real drivingforce fordevelopment.Intoday’smarketcomponentsare much cheaper,technologyhasimprovedconsiderably,andthe needtoreduce CO2emissionsisa substantial driverforthe concept.The challengeforOEM’sand suppliersistocreate an inexpensive alternative tohybridvehicles,whichwill provide asignificantreductioninCO2. What did happen to the 42 volt system? In the early1990’s there wasa lotof excitementaroundthe introductionof a 42V powersupply,initially intended toaugmentthe 12V in passengervehicles.

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