Industry trends

How 48V systems are enhancing our vehicles

Autodata | 20 Aug 2019

How 48V systems are enhancing our vehicles

Autodata | 20 Aug 2019

In this article:

Electrification is changing powertrain technologies, technical supplier Autodata shows how 48V systems are helping make them more intelligent


The 48V mild hybrid system is constantly evolving to fulfil exhaust emission regulations, improve fuel economy and increase acceleration. And it’s why vehicle manufacturers are developing other intelligent enhancements to compliment the technology, but these are just the beginning.

  • Dynamic skip fire (DSF) technology: Integrates cylinder deactivation with the 48 volt mild hybrid system. The DSF system isolates a cylinder by disconnecting the camshaft followers. This locks the inlet and exhaust valves in the closed position when less power is required, resulting in better fuel economy.
  • Extended stop-start technology: Unlike the conventional stop-start technology of switching the engine off when the vehicle comes to a complete stop, the extended stop-start system will also switch off the engine when approaching a stop or while the vehicle is cruising at a constant speed.
  • Electrically heated catalytic converter: In order to reduce the amount of harmful emissions, the catalytic converter must reach operating temperature as quickly as possible. Hybrid systems exacerbate this due to frequent stop-start events or coasting with engine off, however this can be easily solved by heating the catalytic converter electrically using the 48V system.
  • Electrifying engine driven ancillaries: The water pump and air conditioning compressor are two examples of components that can be electrified. This reduces parasitic engine drag and more notably, allows the components to set their own duty cycle based on vehicle and driver demands.

These systems simply wouldn’t be possible with the standard 12V system, and compared to other more expensive hybrid technologies, the 48V mild hybrid systems offer a cost effective solution in satisfying emission regulations and future increases in energy hungry electrical components. It’s a technology that we will all have to become knowledgeable about.


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Wendy Hennessey

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