Automakers are exploring every possible way to improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emission levels. The 48V mild-hybrid system has become an important technology, at least in the short-to-medium term, before automakers move toward pure electric propulsion. The relative simplicity of adopting 48V systems within existing vehicle designs and a low integration cost make the technology attractive for manufacturers. To take full advantage of the increased opportunity of 48V, engineers will have to optimize the vehicle’s electrical architecture. The European market is expected to lead the movement to 48V, driven by new emissions requirements that are to take effect in 2021. Mainland China, which is dealing with severe urban air quality issues and adopting comparable emissions regulations, is expected to be close behind. This is followed by the United States, given that the mandated fuel economy requirements in the country are less aggressive in their phase-in process. IHS Markit expects that mild-hybrid solutions will preferably be integrated into lower-segment vehicles, where higher volumes can make a real impact on fleet efficiency, although the technology is a viable solution for every vehicle segment.
Appendices outlining definitions and abbreviations can be found at the end of the report.
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