AUDI LOOKS TO THE FUTURE Audi is increasing their voltage systems from 12 to 48, with the aim to benefit future models. Image: Audi
• Part of electrification strategy
• More voltage, more power
• Scalable platform concept
INGOLSTADT, Germany - Audi is to upgrade part of its cars' electrical systems from 12 to 48 Volts in anticipation of a number of technological innovations which will pave the way for their production cars.
Ulrich Hackenberg, board member for tech development said: “We're using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive-principles strategy. Running part of a vehicle's electrical system at 48V plays a central role in this.
"It enables us to make more energy available. That paves the way for new technologies with which we can make our cars more sporty, more efficient, more convenient to use.”
Audi recently showcased the scope of the 48V system in Audi A6 TDI and RS 5 TDI concept technology demonstrators, each fitted with an electric compressor operating independently of the engine load and so fundamentally improving accelerative performance.
The 48V technology is also ideal for realising convenience systems for dynamic chassis control, the system has new storage technologies and delivers much more power than the 12V system with lead/acid batteries. It is, Audi says, an important element of electrifying various stages of the drive train.
In the current highest development version, a compact lithium-ion battery supplies 48V during engine-off phases; a DC/DC converter integrates the 12V electrical system. The lithium-ion battery operates in conjunction with a new and more efficient alternator that qualifies the drive train as a mild hybrid.
Within this concept there are various ways of starting, controlling and deactivating the combustion engine as needed. The powerful alternator achieves an energy recovery output of 10kW.
That adds up to a saving of up to 10g/km of CO2, equivalent to around 0.4 litres/100km on 48V technology – Audi is extending the scope of its electrification strategy by upgrading its 12V systems to 48V, unlocking the potential for more energy and greater efficiency for future applications.