Mild Hybridization & 48V

Mild Hybridization & 48V

Publication Date: 05/02/2018

This report is available now to Electrics / Electronics and Powertrain Service subscribers

Updated March 2017

A hybrid system of 48V is termed a mild hybrid. It combines an electric motor with a conventional combustion engine, resulting in an average 10% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This is made possible through braking energy recuperation and start-stop coasting. In the latter case, the combustion engine completely turns off, not only when idle, but also when the vehicle is being driven if neither the gas nor the brake pedal is engaged.

Implementing a higher voltage power layer (high than 12V) in vehicles is not a new phenomenon. However, with respect to 48V, there is a certain amount of hesitation. About 15 years ago, the industry was on the verge of implementing 42V electrical systems, but the technology did not catch owing to a couple of reasons. Firstly, alternators were given a new lease of life and increased their output by being liquid cooled. Secondly, some 42V components, such as headlamp bulbs, were not able to meet vibration tests. In the case of bulbs, the filaments were too fine and delicate. At that time, it appeared that alternators had reached a power limit, and there was the possibility of more than halving the weight of wiring harnesses, which by then had become bloated because of the growing options list of powered devices.

Today, the reasons for implementing 48V are quite different. Contrary to the implementation plans for 42V more than a decade ago, vehicle manufacturers propose a dual-loop network approach for the implementation of 48V. However, although a defacto standard has been set by German premium vehicle manufacturers, a widespread adoption is only beginning to materialize.

About this report

Appendices outlining definitions and abbreviations can be found at the end of the report.

Key questions addressed:

  • Why is 48V being considered?
  • What are the additional benefits available from 48V over 12V systems?
  • Which companies are driving the adoption of 48V electrical systems?
  • What configurations of 48V systems can be expected in the future?
  • How quickly will the 48V market grow globally?

Who needs this report?

  • Vehicle manufacturers
  • Vehicle component suppliers
  • Electronics suppliers
  • Battery manufacturers
  • Fleet managers
  • Government agencies
  • Investor community


Background of report    

Key findings      



Key market trends

Global component demand       

Regional component demand   

Market drivers


Technical analysis

Technical analysis - 48V mild hybrids       

From technology point of view 42V and 48V are similar

48V appears to be a more cost-effective solution            

48V mild hybrid fitment by fuel type and battery type   

Technical Analysis: 48V non-hybrid applications                


Competitive analysis

OEM attitudes towards 48V       

BMW to eventually implement at least a dual voltage network architecture across entire lineup               

Audi, Porsche to lead development of 48V in Volkswagen Group             

Groupe PSA is preparing to introduce first 48V mild hybrid in 2019           

Daimler AG implementing 48V mild hybrid technology on a wider scale

Ford's first 48V mild hybrid Mondeo to be launched in 2017        

Other vehicle manufacturers     

Supplier attitudes toward 48V   

Future of 48V electrical architecture       

Tier-1 supplier profiles


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