48V Issues and Prospects: Unlocking the Opportunities

Current and near-future developments in 48V Power Supply Systems

48V – a key automotive technology of the 2020s

48V is clearly going to be a very important technology in the coming decade. Some senior OEM executives say it should be one of those fundamental technologies that should be adopted by all ICE vehicles in the future.

Key benefits for 48V are that it is is a system that augments combustion engines to reduce fuel consumption, reduces particulate emissions in diesels and improves the driver experience by increasing the responsiveness of the vehicle.

48V systems can help OEMs deliver most of the reductions in CO2 emisisons required by regulations at a fraction of the cost of full electrification – a real benefit in a world of political uncertainty about the future of EV subsidies – and without having to tackle the barriers to adoption (such as range and cost) thrown up by more fully electric solutions.

What this report offers

The report offers insight into the opportunities and challenges offered by the development of 48V Power Supply Systems for automotive OEMs, established suppliers and potential new entrants.

It looks at new systems and new applications that are enabled by higher voltage power systems – and the ripple effects on electrical and electronic architectures and feature configurations that could follow.

Who should buy our report?

CEOs, other C-level executives, partners, directors, vice-presidents and country managers at automotive suppliers across marketing, engineering, R&D, and purchasing functions will find our report useful. It can also be a good reference point for OEMs, financial analysts and management consultants.

Author of this report: Peter Els

Peter Els has been involved in the automotive industry since 1979 when he joined Nissan South Africa’s product development team as an engineer. His later professional career was spent in engineering positions at OEM’s such as Daimler Chrysler, Fiat, Toyota, Nissan and Beijing Automotive Works. He’s also been technical sales and export manager at Robert Bosch South Africa, where rotating equipment and electronic control units were developed for local and international OEMs. After years in an industry driven by information gathering and communication Peter began writing technical reports and articles on various aspects of the industry and the cars it produces. Since then he has produced a broad spectrum of automotive analysis work on technology and the automotive industry, for several publishers focusing on the automotive industry.

Bonus 48V launch database

48-Volt power supply system database (June 2018) includes almost 600 announcements involving 48 –Volt Power supply systems, from May 2016 to June 2018. The majority of the announcements are new vehicle launches by OEMs. The spreadsheet also includes major announcements by suppliers such as Continental, Bosch, and Delphi, as well as other companies such as engineering consultancies.

OEM groups and brands are identified for each of the announcements and where a new model is involved the model and variant is identified. The list is searchable by country. For each announcement the list provides the headline summary and a link to the relevant news story.

Published in arrangement with Autelligence


Chapter 1: Introduction 

1.1 The 42V revolution that never was
1.2 What did we learn from the 42V exercise?
1.3 Why 48V, and why now?

Chapter 2: The automotive industry’s assessment of 48V 

2.1 The future of 48V: the industry’s consensus view
2.2 A change in consensus? Comparing 2016 vs. 2017 Survey results
2.2.1 General comments
2.2.2 Could 48V roll out sooner than originally anticipated?
2.2.3 What is really driving 48V progress?
2.2.4 Will socio-political uncertainty influence growth?
2.2.5 48V is about more than emissions: power unlocks value!
2.3 Key questions about the uncertainties leading up to 2025

Chapter 3: Overview of global market drivers and restraints 

3.1 EV incentives: a mixed blessing for 48V MHEVs
3.2 Shifting trends contribute to 48V sales
3.2.1 48V MHEVs set to outgun 12V SSVs
3.2.2 Growth in the premium brand market: what is the benefit to 48V?
3.2.3 Automated vehicles and 48V electrification: a match made in heaven!
3.3 Global uncertainties could upset the consensus view
3.3.1 Fuel is cheap, but is this likely to change?
3.3.2 Politicians want to restrict diesel/ICEs
3.3.3 The Trump administration seems set to trade GHGs for jobs
3.3.4 The Chinese revolution: Is there room for 48V?
3.3.5 The death of the 48V MHEV in India: India’s future lies with EVs
3.4 It all comes down to cost: what will the customer pay for 48V?
3.5 Chapter 3 summary: uncertainties and forecasts

Chapter 4: Flexible 48V building blocks fit any strategy 

4.1 It is all about saving the planet: 48V’s role in cutting emissions
4.1.1 Some markets are about to run into emissions trouble
4.1.2 New emissions test procedures rewrite all the rules
4.1.3 No need to go HV: 48V will meet emissions targets
4.1.4 Will 48V save the diesel; or replace it?
4.2 Tiny engines love the 48V Powernet
4.2.1 The 48V eSupercharger: the best of both worlds
4.2.2 48V torque-boost puts the fun back into driving
4.2.3 Going electric stamps out parasitic losses
4.3 More sizzle less steak: are premium brands selling 48V as a feature?
4.4 Comfort features come standard with 48V
4.5 Automated vehicles: smart cars need a lot of power
4.6 Chapter 4 summary: uncertainties and forecasts

Chapter 5: OEMs show their hand 

5.1 Mercedes-Benz goes all out with an ISG
5.2 Renault shows the way with a cost effective BSG
5.3 OEMs lining up to roll out new 48V models
5.4 Chapter 5 summary: uncertainties and forecasts

Chapter 6: Projects comparing 48V options: examples 

6.1 Diesel can work: the ADEPT project
6.2 The Schaeffler High Performance 48V concept with AWD
6.3 Chapter 6 summary: uncertainties and forecasts

Chapter 7: 48V – Key technologies up to 2030 and beyond 

7.1 The heart of 48V: batteries dictate the pace
7.1.1 Are lead acid batteries still relevant?
7.1.2 Li-Ion: chemistry of choice
7.1.3 Can new cathode materials unlock more energy?
7.1.4 Solving capacity loss in lithium-sulfur batteries
7.1.5 IONICS: paving the way for the next generation
7.1.6 Revolutionary solid state battery ups the ante
7.1.7 A 48V battery delivers 25kW!
7.1.8 Can the flowcell battery work in a car?
7.2 Materials and design set to revolutionize power electronics
7.2.1 New materials pave the way to higher switching frequencies
7.2.2 Managing the energy flow in dual voltage systems
7.3 Future of 48V rotating machine technology
7.4 Back to the future with 12V MHEVs
7.5 Chapter 7 summary: Uncertainties and forecasts

Chapter 8: 48V as a powerful EV – the Volabo concept 

8.1 A 48V motor producing 180kW!
8.2 Unique controls deal with the high current
8.3 Smart battery configuration provides the power
8.4 What to do with transmission cables?
8.5 Post MHEV: High power 48V offers impressive performance
8.6 Chapter 8 summary: uncertainties and forecasts

Addendum A: 2016 vs 2017 Survey respondent demographics 

Addendum B: Topology, the heart of the 48V mild hybrid 

Addendum B summary: uncertainties and forecasts 


Table of Figures

Figure 1.1: Overview of changes to emissions regulations in major markets
Figure 1.2: CO2 savings achievable through flexible 48V architectures
Figure 1.3: 48V’s position on the path to zero emissions
Figure 1.4: 48V as an enabler for future electrification strategies
Figure 2.1: Consensus view of 48V trends up to 2025
Figure 2.2: Survey indicates growing optimism in the uptake of 48V
Figure 2.3: Survey results on timing for 48V-only architecture
Figure 2.4: Survey establishes factors driving 48V growth
Figure 2.5: Survey questions the effect of socio-political factors on the growth of 48V
Figure 2.6: 2017 Survey shows opinions split on the impact of incentives on sales of 48V in the US and China
Figure 2.7: Survey respondents’ views on systems to benefit most from 48V
Figure 2.8: Suppliers and OEMs that could walk away as winners or losers in the 48V stakes
Figure 3.1: Breakdown of global GHG emissions by type and sector
Figure 3.2: 2016 to 2026 global total vehicle sales by region
Figure 3.3: Breakdown of powertrain market share by type and region for 2025
Figure 3.4: PHEV sales comparison 2015/2016 – highlighting the impact of incentives on sales
Figure 3.5: The impact of incentives on market share
Figure 3.6: Breakdown of vehicle sales by technology highlights SSV contribution
Figure 3.7: EU light vehicle production forecast by architecture
Figure 3.8: SSV sales by region to 2025
Figure 3.9: Premium brand vehicle sales by region to 2025
Figure 3.10: Breakdown of the automated-driving vehicle market, by level, to 2035
Figure 3.11: Oil price forecast up to 2030
Figure 3.12: What will the Indian market pay for 48V?
Figure 3.13: What will the EU customer pay for 48V?
Figure 4.1: Actual vehicle emissions plotted against regulation driven emissions targets
Figure 4.2: Quantifying the impact of switching from NEDC to WLTP
Figure 4.3: EU emissions penalties – 2015 vs. 2020
Figure 4.4: Cost/g CO2 reduction by topology
Figure 4.5: Scalable cost vs. benefit from 48V electrification
Figure 4.6: Energy recovery by vehicle segment, topology and machine power over most common driving cycles
Figure 4.7: Analysis of the BSG efficiency map
Figure 4.8: The impact of changing BSG torque on overall efficiency
Figure 4.9: Breakdown of driving modes over a Real Driving Cycle
Figure 4.10: Results of Engine Technology International’s poll on the long-term viability of LDV diesels
Figure 4.11: Reduction in transient diesel fuel-consumption with an iBSG
Figure 4.12: The influence of electric assistance on BSNOx emissions
Figure 4.12: The influence of electric assistance on BSNOx emissions (continued)
Figure 4.13: 48V enables CO2 vs. NOx optimization for diesel ICE emissions
Figure 4.14: The impact of a 48V electrically heated catalyst on the warmup time
Figure 4.15: 48V eSC reduces NOx by lowering combustion temperature
Figure 4.16: Response time curve of a turbocharged engine equipped with a supplementary 48V eSC
Figure 4.17: eSupercharger sales by region to 2025
Figure 4.18: Power-on vs. power demand schematic of systems that will benefit from 48V
Figure 4.19: Time, speed and torque curves for S/G assisted acceleration from coasting mode
Figure 4.20: Comparison of current and future comfort-feature power requirements
Figure 4.21: Timeline for the roll out of automated vehicle features
Figure 4.22: ADAS and automated driving power requirements
Figure 5.1: The degree of current electrification by OEM and architecture
Figure 6.1: Schematic layout of the ADEPT system
Figure 6.2: ADEPT technologies that cut emissions to 75g/km with 70g/km in reach
Figure 6.3: 48V improves ADEPT vehicle acceleration and engine cranking-time
Figure 6.4: Schaeffler High Performance 48V AWD concept
Figure 7.1: Forecast of future battery development
Figure 7.2: Advanced Lead Acid Battery Value by Region 2016–2025
Figure 7.3: Overview of the 2016–2018 ALABC research program
Figure 7.4: Detailed comparison of common 48V battery technologies considered for the ADEPT project
Figure 7.5: 48V battery market by region 2016–2025
Figure 7.6: Comparison of key cost/performance criteria of the three most likely Lithium battery chemistries
Figure 7.7: Comparison of the energy densities of Li2CoP2O vs. conventional cathode materials
Figure 7.8: DC/DC Converter market growth to 2025
Figure 7.9: Relative cost comparison of key topologies and systems
Figure 7.10: 48V Starter-Generator market by region to 2025
Figure 7.11: 12V MHEV architecture may displace 48V on lower cost small vehicles
Figure 8.1: Advantages of the Intelligent Stator Cage Drive Motor
Figure 8.2: Advantages of the ISCAD Power Electronics
Figure 8.3: Comparison of highly parallel cell setup vs. series configuration
Figure 8.4: Simple Volabo battery construction
Figure 8.5: Volabo design improves efficiency across a wide speed/torque range
Figure 8.6: ISCAD reduces energy demands
Figure A.1: Geographical spread of respondents to Survey
Figure A.2: Survey respondent’s work diversity
Figure A.3: Respondent diversity by job function
Figure A.4: Respondent diversity by level of seniority
Figure B.1: Configuration of a low-cost P0 Topology
Figure B.2: Energy recovery and torque boosting over the NEDC
Figure B.3: Torque-boosting improves overtaking acceleration where it is most needed
Figure B.4: Comparison of P0 vs. P2 kinetic energy recovery

Table of Tables

Table 1.1: 12V/42V/48V Powernet system comparison
Table 3.1: EV incentives by country/region
Table 3.2: Cities and countries considering restrictions on ICE vehicles
Table 3.3 Forecasts on the impact of global uncertainties in the 48V market, with probabilities assigned
Table 4.1: Emissions, comfort and performance strategies unlocked by 48V electrification
Table 4.2: Achieving CO2 reductions by applying a system level approach to downsized engines
Table 4.3: Increased BMEP vs. downsizing potential
Table 4.4: Typical parasitic losses on a 2.0TD LDV
Table 4.5: Diverse 48V strategies differentiate premium brands
Table 4.6: Power consumption by comfort system
Table 4.7: Forecasts around future 48V strategies with probabilities assigned
Table 5.1: Overview of major OEMs’ electrification activities
Table 5.2: Forecasts of OEM 48V strategies with probabilities assigned
Table 6.1: Benefits of the 48V technologies applied to the ADEPT project
Table 6.2: Forecasts on governments’ impact on research projects, with probabilities assigned
Table 7.1: Significant developments taking place around Lead Acid Batteries (companies and contact details included)
Table 7.2: Significant developments taking place around Lithium-ion Battery technologies (companies and contact details included)
Table 7.3: Forecasts on the future direction of 48V E/E components with probabilities assigned
Table 8.1: Energy comparison of various battery cell configurations
Table 8.2: Forecasts on the possibility of 48V evolving into a part- or full-time EV, with probabilities assigned
Table: B.1: Benefits of differing 48V MHEV System Configurations
Table B.2: Systems powered by regen energy
Table B.3: Forecasts on the future of 48V with probabilities assigned

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Published November 2018
Pages 111
Edition 3rd
Format PDF

48V Power Supply System Database


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