SAE - Automotive 48-volt Technology

Organization: SAE
Publication Date: 15 April 2016
Page Count: 49


When thinking about 48-volt technology, the common term from the urban dictionary, "Are we there yet?" comes to mind. This phrase has existed for as long as there have been children and vehicles and it feels the wait for 48-volt fitment has been equally as long. For at least the last ten years the average electrical load on the electrical power supply system has been growing rapidly.

The main reason for this trend is the drive towards electrification of the vehicle, thereby replacing existing hydraulic, pneumatic and mechanical systems with electrically powered systems to improve fuel economy and enhance performance. In addition, consumer-demand for the fitment of advanced safety related systems, stop-start, connectivity and infotainment has increased power supply demand still further. All of these elements place a strain on conventional 12-volt power sources and as the demand increases, a solution must be found.