Suppliers Schaeffler has developed a close-to-production concept vehicle that uses a mild 48-Volt hybrid system instead of the current high-voltage system. This on-board voltage is intended to offer cost advantages over conventional hybrid vehicles during production and maintenance. Premiere celebrates the mid-size SUV at the Detroit Motor Show (12 until 25, January).
The concept vehicle is based on the Ford Kuga. According to Schaeffler, the mild hybridization with 48 volts already achieves specifications that will only take effect in ten years' time. Also the so-called American CAFE standards for the year 2025 are fulfilled. CAFE stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy and describes the statutory fleet consumption regulations.
In addition to the mild hybridization, the concept vehicle also uses other technologies, including an all-wheel-disconnect clutch and measures to dampen and optimize friction in the powertrain.
Schaeffler has been working on hybrid drive technology for a long time. A few months ago, the supplier in cooperation with the tire manufacturer Continental showed the example of a 92 kW / 125 PS strong Ford Focus with 1,0 Ecoboost petrol engine, how you can already save up to 17 percent fuel by means of a mild hybrid string.
The 48-Volt hybrid drive also applies the cost-brake elsewhere: Conventional hybrids require voltage up to 400 volts. For example, in order not to endanger rescue workers with life-threatening power surges during rescue operations, an expensive and expensive protection device is necessary. Automotive mechanics need for the maintenance of such vehicles also special training. Both are not needed on cars with 48-Volt power.
Author: Adele Moser / SP-X