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48V Full Hybrid is a Prius killer says IDTechEx

New research by IDTechEx in its report, “48V Mild Hybrid and 48V Full Hybrid Vehicles 2020-2030” reveals that the 48V mild hybrid powertrain is a done deal.

Started in 2016, now a flood of car models have this, to keep them legal in the face of tightening emissions laws and save fuel. They improve comfort, for example by powering active suspension, and improve performance. Improvements in 48V mild hybrids will continue. Next year the 48V repertoire will even expand to Ferrari, Volkswagen Golf, and family cars in China. None are electric vehicles because they never drive the wheels electrically, but it is now clear that they can be developed into just that. Previously thought impossible, 48V full hybrids are on the way and they will do more than replace conventional cars and a few buses and trucks. 

48V full hybrids promise to beat traditional hybrid electric vehicles on price by a big margin. 48V full hybrid is going to grab around 10 percent of the total car market with something that is a bit of a mouthful. It will be “70 percent of an engine-dominant high-voltage hybrid’s benefits at 30 percent of the powertrain cost”. Overall, it will take around $300 billion dollars of the car business by displacing conventional vehicle business even more than traditional hybrid business. 

2020 will see first sales and 2023 the first big deliveries. The big prize is silent takeoff, creep in traffic, active cruising at speed and parking – all with engine off. Also, more comfort and features. Pioneers include Skoda experimenting with them for four years and Continental and Borg Warner newly offering a full kit of 48V full hybrid parts to carmakers. 48V mild hybrids were seen as a quick fix with a limited window of opportunity and that was that. Now, 48V mild hybrids are seeing a new roadmap of great improvements discussed in the report, and the 48V full hybrid could take the technology past 2030. That is possibly beyond the life in the marketplace of the traditional HEV and plug in hybrid PHEV as they get throttled between 48V full hybrids on price and pure electric cars (including solar 1000km range versions) on performance and convenience. Indeed, it is now realised that incremental improvements to 48V full hybrid powertrains may possibly extend to such exotica as solar and supercapacitor bodywork, electricity producing suspension, autonomy and other features previously reserved for a pure electric end game. 

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