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 buys Autelligence reports?

Currently over 250 companies have corporate or individual subscriptions to reports from Autelligence. Most reports are bought by CEOs, other C-level executives, partners, directors, vice-presidents and country managers at automotive suppliers across marketing, engineering, R&D, and purchasing functions. Subscribers also include OEMs, financial analysts and management consultants.

48V systems will get better

There is a lot of room for improvement in the technology, according to two leading engineering consultants familiar with the area:

Jason McConnell, Business Unit Director at IAV Automotive Engineering:

“People are looking to integrate technologies, putting the battery, power electronics from the inverter and the DC-DC converter in one box so you’ve got less cabling. 48V technologies can be adopted over a large number of vehicles; there’s definitely reusability and scalability in most designs.”

Tomasz Salamon, Engineering Operations Manager for Hybrid and Electric Systems at Ricardo: “Eventually we’ll see more components going to 48V, which gives you smaller and more-efficient electrical components—and more power capability.”

And these benefits will be enhanced by scale effects.

Rudolf Stark, head of the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Business Unit at Continental has said that his company expects “good market penetration across all vehicle segments, from A to D.” That, he says, will “bring large quantities of the technology to market” and “ensure cost-effective production”.

Autelligence offers more than a one-off download…

If you purchase this report, we will provide complimentary access to our database of 48V Power Supply system-related announcements.

The database is regularly updated by our team.

The benefits:

  • Allows report buyers to track the development of applications and innovations in 48V Power systems through to the end of 2017
  • Allows report buyers to sort the data by model, OEM, Supplier, date of announcement, technologies involved and more to support their own analysis”

Author of this report

Peter Els has been involved in the automotive industry since 1979 when he joined Nissan South Africa’s product development team as a student engineer. On qualifying, he explored all facets of the industry holding, positions in engineering, after-sales service, and marketing. Peter has held positions with OEM’s such as Daimler, Fiat, Toyota, Nissan and Beijing Automotive Works. He’s also been responsible for OE sales and exports at Robert Bosch South Africa. After years in an industry driven by information gathering and communication Peter began writing technical articles on various aspects of the industry and the cars it produces. Since then he has produced a broad spectrum of automotive analysis work for Autelligence and other companies such as Automotive IQ and IQPC.

About our team

Autelligence’s insights  are built on the expertise and contacts of  a group of experienced automotive analysts and sector reporters that have worked with Autelligence over the last decade.

Most have 20 or more years of experience in following trends and anticipating developments in North America, Europe and Asia.

Their contacts  and understanding ensure that the news and reports delivered to Autelligence clients are up-to-date and relevant to active executives in the industry.

Click here for an introduction to some key Autelligence contributors.

About Autelligence

Autelligence is a leading provider of information to the automotive sector about the market and business implications of product, regulatory and technological developments. Over the last fifteen years Autelligence has supplied its insights to most of the leading vehicle makers and first and second tier suppliers. Autelligence staff based around the world conduct regular surveys and discussions with industry experts in Europe, Asia and North America on the key issues that will affect the industry in the coming decade.

Chapter 1: Introduction 6

1.1 The 42V revolution that never was 6
1.2 What did we learn from the 42V exercise? 7
1.3 Why 48V, and why now? 7

Chapter 2: The automotive industry’s assessment of 48V 11

2.1 The future of 48V: the industry’s consensus view 11
2.2 A change in consensus? Comparing 2016 vs. 2017 Autelligence survey results 12
2.2.1 General comments 12
2.2.2 Could 48V roll out sooner than originally anticipated? 12
2.2.3 What is really driving 48V progress? 14
2.2.4 Will socio-political uncertainty influence growth? 14
2.2.5 48V is about more than emissions: power unlocks value! 16
2.3 Key questions about the uncertainties leading up to 2025 17

Chapter 3: Overview of global market drivers and restraints 19

3.1 EV incentives: a mixed blessing for 48V MHEVs 21
3.2 Shifting trends contribute to 48V sales 24
3.2.1 48V MHEVs set to outgun 12V SSVs 24
3.2.2 Growth in the premium brand market: what is the benefit to 48V? 26
3.2.3 Automated vehicles and 48V electrification: a match made in heaven! 27
3.3 Global uncertainties could upset the consensus view 28
3.3.1 Fuel is cheap, but is this likely to change? 28
3.3.2 Politicians want to restrict diesel/ICEs 29
3.3.3 The Trump administration seems set to trade GHGs for jobs 31
3.3.4 The Chinese revolution: Is there room for 48V? 32
3.3.5 The death of the 48V MHEV in India: India’s future lies with EVs 33
3.4 It all comes down to cost: what will the customer pay for 48V? 34
3.5 Chapter 3 summary: uncertainties and forecasts 35

Chapter 4: Flexible 48V building blocks fit any strategy 37

4.1 It is all about saving the planet: 48V’s role in cutting emissions 38
4.1.1 Some markets are about to run into emissions trouble 39
4.1.2 New emissions test procedures rewrite all the rules 39
4.1.3 No need to go HV: 48V will meet emissions targets 41
4.1.4 Will 48V save the diesel; or replace it? 45
4.2 Tiny engines love the 48V Powernet 50
4.2.1 The 48V eSupercharger: the best of both worlds 51
4.2.2 48V torque-boost puts the fun back into driving 53
4.2.3 Going electric stamps out parasitic losses 53
4.3 More sizzle less steak: are premium brands selling 48V as a feature? 54
4.4 Comfort features come standard with 48V 55
4.5 Automated vehicles: smart cars need a lot of power 57
4.6 Chapter 4 summary: uncertainties and forecasts 58

Chapter 5: OEMs show their hand 60

5.1 Mercedes-Benz goes all out with an ISG 61
5.2 Renault shows the way with a cost effective BSG 61
5.3 OEMs lining up to roll out new 48V models 62
5.4 Chapter 5 summary: uncertainties and forecasts 63

Chapter 6: Projects comparing 48V options: examples 64

6.1 Diesel can work: the ADEPT project 64
6.2 The Schaeffler High Performance 48V concept with AWD 67
6.3 Chapter 6 summary: uncertainties and forecasts 68

Chapter 7: 48V – Key technologies up to 2030 and beyond 70

7.1 The heart of 48V: batteries dictate the pace 70
7.1.1 Are lead acid batteries still relevant? 70
7.1.2 Li-Ion: chemistry of choice 75
7.1.3 Can new cathode materials unlock more energy? 76
7.1.4 Solving capacity loss in lithium-sulfur batteries 79
7.1.5 IONICS: paving the way for the next generation 80
7.1.6 Revolutionary solid state battery ups the ante 80
7.1.7 A 48V battery delivers 25kW! 81
7.1.8 Can the flowcell battery work in a car? 81
7.2 Materials and design set to revolutionize power electronics 82
7.2.1 New materials pave the way to higher switching frequencies 82
7.2.2 Managing the energy flow in dual voltage systems 82
7.3 Future of 48V rotating machine technology 83
7.4 Back to the future with 12V MHEVs 85
7.5 Chapter 7 summary: Uncertainties and forecasts 86

Chapter 8: 48V as a powerful EV – the Volabo concept 88

8.1 A 48V motor producing 180kW! 88
8.2 Unique controls deal with the high current 89
8.3 Smart battery configuration provides the power 89
8.4 What to do with transmission cables? 91
8.5 Post MHEV: High power 48V offers impressive performance 92
8.6 Chapter 8 summary: uncertainties and forecasts 93

Addendum A: 2016 vs 2017 Autelligence survey respondent demographics 94

Addendum B: Topology, the heart of the 48V mild hybrid 96

Addendum B summary: uncertainties and forecasts 100

Sources 101

Table of Figures

Figure 1.1: Overview of changes to emissions regulations in major markets 8
Figure 1.2: CO2 savings achievable through flexible 48V architectures 8
Figure 1.3: 48V’s position on the path to zero emissions 9
Figure 1.4: 48V as an enabler for future electrification strategies 10
Figure 2.1: Consensus view of 48V trends up to 2025 11
Figure 2.2: Autelligence survey indicates growing optimism in the uptake of 48V 13
Figure 2.3: Autelligence survey results on timing for 48V-only architecture 13
Figure 2.4: Autelligence survey establishes factors driving 48V growth 14
Figure 2.5: Autelligence survey questions the effect of socio-political factors on the growth of 48V 15
Figure 2.6: 2017 Autelligence survey shows opinions split on the impact of incentives on sales of 48V in the US and China 15
Figure 2.7: Autelligence survey respondents’ views on systems to benefit most from 48V 16
Figure 2.8: Suppliers and OEMs that could walk away as winners or losers in the 48V stakes 17
Figure 3.1: Breakdown of global GHG emissions by type and sector 19
Figure 3.2: 2016 to 2026 global total vehicle sales by region 20
Figure 3.3: Breakdown of powertrain market share by type and region for 2025 20
Figure 3.4: PHEV sales comparison 2015/2016 – highlighting the impact of incentives on sales 21
Figure 3.5: The impact of incentives on market share 22
Figure 3.6: Breakdown of vehicle sales by technology highlights SSV contribution 25
Figure 3.7: EU light vehicle production forecast by architecture 25
Figure 3.8: SSV sales by region to 2025 26
Figure 3.9: Premium brand vehicle sales by region to 2025 27
Figure 3.10: Breakdown of the automated-driving vehicle market, by level, to 2035 27
Figure 3.11: Oil price forecast up to 2030 28
Figure 3.12: What will the Indian market pay for 48V? 34
Figure 3.13: What will the EU customer pay for 48V? 35
Figure 4.1: Actual vehicle emissions plotted against regulation driven emissions targets 38
Figure 4.2: Quantifying the impact of switching from NEDC to WLTP 40
Figure 4.3: EU emissions penalties – 2015 vs. 2020 41
Figure 4.4: Cost/g CO2 reduction by topology 42
Figure 4.5: Scalable cost vs. benefit from 48V electrification 42
Figure 4.6: Energy recovery by vehicle segment, topology and machine power over most common driving cycles 43
Figure 4.7: Analysis of the BSG efficiency map 43
Figure 4.8: The impact of changing BSG torque on overall efficiency 44
Figure 4.9: Breakdown of driving modes over a Real Driving Cycle 45
Figure 4.10: Results of Engine Technology International’s poll on the long-term viability of LDV diesels 46
Figure 4.11: Reduction in transient diesel fuel-consumption with an iBSG 47
Figure 4.12: The influence of electric assistance on BSNOx emissions 47
Figure 4.12: The influence of electric assistance on BSNOx emissions (continued) 48
Figure 4.13: 48V enables CO2 vs. NOx optimization for diesel ICE emissions 48
Figure 4.14: The impact of a 48V electrically heated catalyst on the warmup time 49
Figure 4.15: 48V eSC reduces NOx by lowering combustion temperature 49
Figure 4.16: Response time curve of a turbocharged engine equipped with a supplementary 48V eSC 52
Figure 4.17: eSupercharger sales by region to 2025 52
Figure 4.18: Power-on vs. power demand schematic of systems that will benefit from 48V 54
Figure 4.19: Time, speed and torque curves for S/G assisted acceleration from coasting mode 55
Figure 4.20: Comparison of current and future comfort-feature power requirements 56
Figure 4.21: Timeline for the roll out of automated vehicle features 57
Figure 4.22: ADAS and automated driving power requirements 57
Figure 5.1: The degree of current electrification by OEM and architecture 60
Figure 6.1: Schematic layout of the ADEPT system 64
Figure 6.2: ADEPT technologies that cut emissions to 75g/km with 70g/km in reach 65
Figure 6.3: 48V improves ADEPT vehicle acceleration and engine cranking-time 67
Figure 6.4: Schaeffler High Performance 48V AWD concept 68
Figure 7.1: Forecast of future battery development 70
Figure 7.2: Advanced Lead Acid Battery Value by Region 2016–2025 71
Figure 7.3: Overview of the 2016–2018 ALABC research program 72
Figure 7.4: Detailed comparison of common 48V battery technologies considered for the ADEPT project 74
Figure 7.5: 48V battery market by region 2016–2025 75
Figure 7.6: Comparison of key cost/performance criteria of the three most likely Lithium battery chemistries 76
Figure 7.7: Comparison of the energy densities of Li2CoP2O vs. conventional cathode materials 77
Figure 7.8: DC/DC Converter market growth to 2025 83
Figure 7.9: Relative cost comparison of key topologies and systems 84
Figure 7.10: 48V Starter-Generator market by region to 2025 85
Figure 7.11: 12V MHEV architecture may displace 48V on lower cost small vehicles 86
Figure 8.1: Advantages of the Intelligent Stator Cage Drive Motor 88
Figure 8.2: Advantages of the ISCAD Power Electronics 89
Figure 8.3: Comparison of highly parallel cell setup vs. series configuration 90
Figure 8.4: Simple Volabo battery construction 91
Figure 8.5: Volabo design improves efficiency across a wide speed/torque range 92
Figure 8.6: ISCAD reduces energy demands 93
Figure A.1: Geographical spread of respondents to Autelligence survey 94
Figure A.2: Autelligence survey respondent’s work diversity 94
Figure A.3: Respondent diversity by job function 95
Figure A.4: Respondent diversity by level of seniority 95
Figure B.1: Configuration of a low-cost P0 Topology 97
Figure B.2: Energy recovery and torque boosting over the NEDC 98
Figure B.3: Torque-boosting improves overtaking acceleration where it is most needed 98
Figure B.4: Comparison of P0 vs. P2 kinetic energy recovery 99

Table of tables

Table 1.1: 12V/42V/48V Powernet system comparison 7
Table 3.1: EV incentives by country/region 22
Table 3.2: Cities and countries considering restrictions on ICE vehicles 30
Table 3.3 Forecasts on the impact of global uncertainties in the 48V market, with probabilities assigned 36
Table 4.1: Emissions, comfort and performance strategies unlocked by 48V electrification 37
Table 4.2: Achieving CO2 reductions by applying a system level approach to downsized engines 51
Table 4.3: Increased BMEP vs. downsizing potential 51
Table 4.4: Typical parasitic losses on a 2.0TD LDV 53
Table 4.5: Diverse 48V strategies differentiate premium brands 54
Table 4.6: Power consumption by comfort system 56
Table 4.7: Forecasts around future 48V strategies with probabilities assigned 59
Table 5.1: Overview of major OEMs’ electrification activities 60
Table 5.2: Forecasts of OEM 48V strategies with probabilities assigned 63
Table 6.1: Benefits of the 48V technologies applied to the ADEPT project 66
Table 6.2: Forecasts on governments’ impact on research projects, with probabilities assigned 69
Table 7.1: Significant developments taking place around Lead Acid Batteries (companies and contact details included) 72
Table 7.2: Significant developments taking place around Lithium-ion Battery technologies (companies and contact details included) 77
Table 7.3: Forecasts on the future direction of 48V E/E components with probabilities assigned 87
Table 8.1: Energy comparison of various battery cell configurations 90
Table 8.2: Forecasts on the possibility of 48V evolving into a part- or full-time EV, with probabilities assigned 93
Table: B.1: Benefits of differing 48V MHEV System Configurations 96
Table B.2: Systems powered by regen energy 99
Table B.3: Forecasts on the future of 48V with probabilities assigned 100

Who is the report for?

Chief Executive Officers, Marketing Directors, Business and Sales Development executives, Product and Project management, Purchasing and Technical Directors that need a powerful third party perspective and overview of the trends and issues in their sector and the potential ramifications for their business.

Autelligence Powertrain customers include:

AFT Hungary
Afton Chemical
Aluminium Rheinfelden
Arnold Magnetic Technologies
August Küpper
AVL List
BASF Corporation
BG Products
Bourns Sensors
BRP Powertrain
Buehler Motor
Charter Automotive
CIE Automotive
Conti Temic Microelectronic
Eaton Automotive
Eisenwerk Hasenclever
Emil Müller
Erdrich Umformtechnik
Evonik Industries
Feinguss Blank
Ford Otosan Otomotiv
General Motors
Grüner Systemtechnik
Hubert Stüken
IFP Energies Nouvelles
IMO Institut
Indo Schottle
International Indústria Automotiva
ITW Automotive Products
Johnson Electric
Kobe Steel
Kongsberg Automotive
Kratzer Automation
Leopold Kostal
LPL Technologies
Maschinenbau Böhmer
Mentor Graphics
Mitsubishi Electric
MTS Systems
Nedschroef Plettenberg
Neue Halberg Guss
Nobel Automotive
North American Stamping Group
NXP Semiconductors
Oerlikon Metco
Oliver Wyman
Park Ohio
Pinnacle Engines
Pridgeon and Clay
Reinz Dichtungs
Robert Bosch
Rolls Royce Power Systems
SAIC Motor
Schaeffler Group
Schlaeger M-Tech
Sensata Technologies
Sigma Air Conditioning
Somboon Advance Tech
Southwest Research Institute
Spicer Automotive
Stackpole International
Suzuki Garphyttan
TE Connectivity
Team Technik
Trelleborg Sealing Solutions
Tula Technology
Turbo Energy India
TVS Motor
VDM Metals




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Author: Peter Els
Publisher: Autelligence
Published: August 2017
Pages: 111
Edition: 3rd
Format: PDF

48V Power Supply System Database

…some 2017 announcements…

Date Company Model or Innovation
04-Aug-17 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
03-Aug-17 Volkswagen Golf 8
31-Jul-17 Audi Q7 e-tron
28-Jul-17 Rolls-Royce Phantom
03-Jul-17 RAM RAM 1500
01-Jul-17 Volkswagen T Roc
28-Jun-17 Mercedes-AMG CLS53
02-Jun-17 Audi  A8 (D5)
23-May-17 Bentley Continental GT
29-Apr-17 Volvo XC60
20-Apr-17 Chery Tiggo Coupe concept SUV
11-Apr-17 Lamborghini Urus SUV
10-Apr-17 AVL AVL HyPer 200
09-Mar-17 Fiat 500
08-Mar-17 Audi Q8 sport concept
01-Mar-17 Bentley Bentayga Mulliner SUV
Some of our customers: