Bosch Announces New 48-Volt Battery Pack

Bosch is launching a new 48-volt battery it hopes will make it a market leader in the micro hybrid segment.

The 48-volt lithium-ion battery is designed for micro hybrids. It would also be well suited for Audi’s upcoming 48V whole-car electrical system, and a new generation of similar 48V cars and trucks.

Micro hybrids use a smaller battery pack than a full hybrid. They run at lower voltage and have less electrical storage capacity. In vehicles with a micro hybrid system, the system is either used entirely to support the vehicle during start/stop operation. They are capable of some regenerative braking, which helps to allow the generator to run less frequently, saving fuel. Electrical power is never sent directly to the wheels in a micro hybrid.

The micro hybrid’s 48V systems can also be used to power electrical superchargers. Audi uses such a system on the SQ7. Audi doesn’t say specifically how much horsepower is gained from the electric blower, but the but the SQ7’s 4.0L V8 turbodiesel makes 435 horsepower and an astonishing 664 pounds-fee of torque.

Bosch suggests that their new battery and hybrid system could be used to send some of the power recovered from braking back to the wheels. That would make the system operate as a mild hybrid instead of a micro.

Bosch’s battery pack needs no active cooling (like fans or liquid cooling), and is plastic to reduce weight and cost. It is a standardized pack size, much like a conventional battery, which allows easier integration into vehicles. Bosch also designs and sells hybrid powertrain components, and can offer automakers a ready-to-go micro hybrid solution. The package of ready-made components can shorten development times and increase availability across models of the micro hybrid system.

SEE ALSO: So Many Automakers Are Committing To Electrify So Many Of Their Cars

Bosch expects 15 million 48V hybrids on the road by 2025.

Audi was the first automaker to change a vehicle completely to a 48V electrical system, starting with the 2017 SQ7 SUV. Most other automakers currently use a 48-volt system for their micro hybrid components but still use a conventional 12-volt battery to power vehicle systems. Even full EVs like the Tesla Model S or Chevrolet Bolt EV still keep a 12-volt battery to operate systems like the infotainment system and lights.

If 48V batteries become more mainstream, then 48-volt infotainment systems, lighting, and even high-demand comforts like heated seats that warm up faster could become more commonplace. The higher voltage means that thinner wires can be used to connect the vehicle’s systems and that saves weight and cost to automakers.


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