change is the unforgiving reality faced by humanity at the moment. There are many
aspects that contribute towards environment transformation and each
business has the accountability to take intended steps to reverse this unwanted
there has been considerable conversation about electric vehicles in the past
few years. Though the research is
underway for 2-wheelers, four wheelers and commercial vehicles, we will
consider 48V engines in particular for our conversation today.
The international auto commerce is
conscious of environmental fluctuations and has been battling this through
well-planned technologies, while educating the stakeholders concerned,
including motorists, in parallel. As the drive towards clean fuel is an ongoing
quest, there are already several breakthrough innovations, which have come
through in-vehicle technology.
We can say
with a great degree of certainty that petrol and diesel engines are far from
dead. While the BS VI emission norms will make them more expensive, neither one
of these fuel types are going off the shelf anytime soon.
Amid the numerous inventions, battery-operated
automobiles appear to be the utmost workable choice, be it in terms of price,
technology application or with the overall reception among the customers.
As customers across the globe are
now moving towards environmental-friendly automobiles, the 48-volt or 48V
electrical system has appeared as the new redeemer. The structure of the system
does not need any automobile producer to renovate its prevailing arrangement as
it is a harmonising and complementary technology.
Volt Eco Drive system enables cost-efficient mass hybridisation.
Functions such as advanced stop-start, coasting and electric boost save
13-20 percent of fuel. In mild-hybrid application, the 48V e-motor
replaces the 12V alternator.
As of today, 48V is an influential
and marketable practical resolution for hybrid vehicles. In this prospect, a
complete hybrid vehicle model is still a distance away, given certain
If you look across Europe, there are
a limited number of automobile manufacturers, who have brought the 48V mild
hybrid cars on the streets. As an organisation focused on cleaner air, Vitesco
Technologies is intensely involved with this expertise and has gained arduous
Nevertheless, the test remains to
push these technologies into nations like India which, like other advanced
markets, has its own necessities. These advances are optimistic to Vitesco
Technologies as it holds the promise of further growth into the technological
arena of 48V, which can be positioned, depending on the request from the OEMs
in India. The prospects look encouraging as the government is keen on
unleashing the EV movement in India. This could provide a safer environment for
commuters where 48V will be one of the key contributors.
Climate change and oil dependency
are concerns highly debated by governments and the automotive industry. As a
consequence, automobile manufacturers are forced to invest heavily in R&D
and control manufacturing costs to cope with stringent emission norms
worldwide. The industry feels the need for hybrid and electric vehicles which
are appropriate for future transport.
Mild hybrid solutions with 48V
architecture have emerged as the most promising alternatives, when compared
with conventional internal combustion engines and fully electric vehicles.
With the upsurge in electronic
components in a car, infotainment systems, advanced driver assistance systems
and powertrain controls often require higher power, limiting the use of 12V
electrical systems which has been typical for several decades. 48V electrical
systems, a secondary source of power, complement the use of advanced technology
and support hybridisation, without the complexities of a fully electric
The 48V mild-hybrid architecture
includes a ‘starter generator’, a lithium-ion storage battery and a DC/DC
converter that integrates the 12V electrical system, controllers and hybrid
powertrain and a hybrid-turbocharger or a supercharger. The 48V construction
doesn't dislodge the standard 12V electrical structure; rather, it is combined
with the 12V system through a DC/DC converter.
The classic auto accessories run on
12V while the 48V battery supports advanced hybridization. In any case, in
contrast to electric vehicles, mild-hybrid starter generators don't drive the
wheels directly but are a subsidiary technology.
Mild hybrids bring 70 per cent
benefits of a full hybrid at 30 percent of the cost to both petrol and diesel
vehicles. Recuperation of energy is possible with these mild hybrids and engine
shut-off during coasting or downhill driving is achievable. Greater CO2 savings
are possible with 48V technology. Coupled to an internal-combustion engine, the
starter generator provides restart power as well as 15kW and up to 100 Nm of
additional torque. Thirteen to 21 percent fuel efficiency is estimated with
this technology. Many suppliers and OEMs have commercialised this technology
globally and one can spot these mild hybrids on the roads already.
Multiple global providers have now
commercialised this technology, and some are already in sequential
manufacturing of the same. We are looking forward to the new course of
electrification wave now to upsurge in India.
About the author:
This article is authored by Sharath
Tengse, Head of SW Development, Electronic Controls, at Vitesco Technologies,