German carmaker Audi is to introduce a dual 12V/48V electrical architecture to future ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles.
The 48V system features a lithium-ion battery and a DC/DC converter to integrate the 12V electrical system. The alternator achieves an energy recovery output of 10kW, adding up to a saving of up to 10g/km CO2, according to Audi.
Current 12V systems incorporating lead-acid batteries are at the limits of their capability. ‘Hotel’ load components can account for the entire power generated by the alternator – up to 3kW.
According to Audi, the 48V system can make more energy available than the 12V system and allows the carmaker to integrate new features such as e-boost technology that make vehicles more “sporty” and efficient.
“The lithium-ion battery operates in conjunction with a new alternator. Within this concept there are diverse ways of starting, controlling and deactivating the combustion engine as needed,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, member of the board for technical development at Audi.
The automaker has not revealed the timeframe for the 48V launch. Audi’s next-generation SQ7 electrically-turbocharged diesel SUV, which will feature a 48V electrical system, is to be launched in 2016.
The news comes at the same time with LG Chem’s announcement that it has struck a deal with Audi to supply its 48V lithium-ion batteries.