48 Volts Hybrid, for a C02 emissions reduction, at an affordable cost
Reaching the voltage level to 48 Volts maximises the hybrid system benefits in terms of CO2 reduction and fuel economy. This powertrain system, which can be used in either 100% electric is on average 20% more affordable than high-voltage motors (greater than 60 Volts), thanks to a simplified architecture that reduces safety equipment requirements.
Valeo offers two levels of 48 Volts hybridization:
- Level 1 – the Hybrid4all 5% fuel savings with increased comfort and power (compared to 12 Volts system).
- Regenerative braking, storage of the energy in the 48 Volts lithium-ion battery.
- Torque assist: the 48 Volts starter generator uses the recovered energy to assist the internal combustion engine when accelerating.
- Electrical supply: the energy stored in the 48-volt lithium-ion battery is fed through the 48 Volt converter, in order to supply the vehicle’s electrical network in order to power the accessories (car radio, windscreen wipers, and so on.).
- Level 2 – hybrid with 100% electric propulsion: around 15% fuel savings with greater comfort and power.
- Level 1, with an added 48 Volts electric propulsion engine.
- Combined with a high-capacity battery, the vehicle can be driven in 100% electric mode.
- Similar performance to a High Voltage hybrid system.
Hybridization for All, the Valeo’s electric motors range offer reach the need
Valeo’s 48 Volts range meets the different needs of the existing motor hybridization range. This 48 Volts offer includes different electric motors whose power changes according to the need:
- The 48 Volts starter-alternator, from 4 to 6 kW, has already been sold in more than 1 million units by Valeo, and was developed using the know-how acquired with the 12 Volts starter-alternator;
- The 48 Volts 15 kW electric motor, which is oil-cooled and can be fitted to a hybrid dual-clutch gearbox, will go into series production in 2021;
- The 48 Volts 25kW water-cooled electric motor can also be positioned on the rear axle of the vehicle to provide an electric 4WD (four-wheel drive) function and enhance the driving experience.
In parallel, Valeo is also producing the 48 Volts power converter (DC/DC converter) that transfers the energy stored in the battery to the vehicle’s 12 Volts on-board power supply. The series production began in 2017 with an air-cooled version that meets the cost-performance requirements. A new generation launched in 2021 is capable of meeting all energy needs thanks to its adaptable air or water cooling.
The Valeo solutions include an additional 48 Volts lithium-ion battery, a 48 Volts converter, a new 48 Volts starter generator and a range of electric motors which incorporate new functions:
- Regenerative braking, from which the energy is stored in the 48 Volts lithium-ion battery.
- Torque assist: the 48 Volts starter generator uses the recovered energy to assist the motor when accelerating.
- Electrical supply: the energy stored in the 48 Volts lithium-ion battery is fed through the 48 Volts converter, in order to supply the vehicle’s electrical systems.
Going further: the plug-in hybrid vehicle
An economical and ecological solution
Resulting from its pursuit of excellence in the development of the 48 Volts system, Valeo now offers the very first 48 Volts low-voltage rechargeable vehicle. The Four-Wheel drive electric architecture (including a 48 Volts starter-alternator and a 48 Volts electric motor on the rear axle) significantly improves the way to handle hard conditions such as snowing environments. By combining 48 Volts hybridization with a larger 48 Volts battery, thisplug-in hybrid solution offers an electric range of up to 80 km, thereby guaranteeing a drastic overall reduction in CO2 emissions.
This solution enables all-electric travel for around forty kilometers, the thermal engine taking over for longer journeys. Using geolocation, the 100% electric mode is automatically activated when the vehicle enters a low emission zone. Furthermore, when a driver enters a route into the GPS, the vehicle can adapt the use of the electric drive system accordingly. Compared to conventional high-voltage plug-in hybrid vehicles, the Valeo 48 Volts plug-in hybrid is more economical, as the average cost of the 48 Volts technology is around 20% lower.
48 Volts, for a full electric mobility
Tomorrow’s electric mobility will not be limited to passenger cars. Valeo proposes to reuse the 48 Volts technology initially developed for hybrid vehicles to all the new mobility applications such as light 2, 3 or 4 wheels. Valeo is supplying the Citroën AMI’s engine.
This 100% electric prototype, operating at low voltage in 48 Volts, is the very first 48 Volts democar powered entirely by Valeo (excluding batteries).
This two-seater electric vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 100km/h and has a range of 150km. Its small size and weight make it the perfect transportation for short journeys and city trips. It can be recharged at any electric charging point.
Valeo’s 48 Volts 100% electric vehicle is also, and above all, more economical (20% less expensive) than a current all-electric solution, as its low-voltage system does not require any specific protection, whereas current high-voltage electric vehicles are subject to restrictive regulations and accreditations. The cost of a small 48 Volts 100% electric vehicle could therefore be around €7,500 (after deduction of purchase subsidies).
This type of vehicle equipped with Valeo’s solution has given manufacturers the impulse for the new era of low-voltage urban mobility, which arrived on the streets of French cities in 2020 with the very first full electric 48 Volts Citroën AMI.