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German carmakers agree on 48V on-board supply, charging plug

June 16, 2011 | Christoph Hammerschmidt | 222901632
German carmakers agree on 48V on-board supply, charging plug Car makers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed to jointly incorporate a number of common architectural elements for their on-board power network. These include an additional 48V section and a charging connector type for all electric and hybrid vehicles as well as CAN bus interfaces supporting partial network operation.
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At the 15th Automobil Elektronik Kongress in Ludwigsburg, the companies announced to establish a 48V supply network supplementing the current 12V supply. They also said they agreed upon measures supporting CAN bus network segmentation and a common charging plug as a joint de-facto standard.

"At a growing extend, high-current loads are utilized in the vehicles," said Volker Wilhelmi, Head of Electrical/Electronic on-board networks for Daimler. "It becomes increasingly difficult under technological and cost aspects to implement these functions and devices in a 12V supply network." For this reason, E/E engineering managers of the five OEMs agreed to implement a supplementary 48V supply in future car generations. Both subnets will be connected through a bidirectional DC/DC converter. "This enables us to integrate high-current devices into our cars at lower cost, better quality and more easily", Wilhelmi said. In particular, the 48V option will improve power recuperation in electric and hybrid electric vehicles and thus reduce CO2 emissions. In addition, powerful actuators can be implemented at smaller form factors. Also heating and air conditioning could benefit from the higher operating voltage.

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