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Home Features How General Motors Sparkles in 48 Volts - Research Report

How General Motors Sparkles in 48 Volts – Research Report

It is in China that General Motors is leading the way in 48V hybrid cars and their next technology. This 48V mild hybridization of conventional car models gives them another ten years in the market.

They do not become illegal from tightening emissions regulations. Indeed they gain up to 15% reduction in emission and fuel consumption.

The upgrade consists of little more than replacing the alternator with a motor-starter-generator and adding a lithium-ion battery to the lead-acid one. A DC-DC converter charges them and delivers their electricity to a host of new electrical devices, even increasing comfort and performance along the way.

A recent IDTechEx report, “48V Full Hybrid, 48V Mild Hybrid, 48V BEV Cars: Markets, Technology Roadmap 2021-2041”, reveals that under 20% of traditional car manufacturers are passing up on this precious buying of time as they race to the end game of battery electric.

Huge sales

By the recent discovery of a simple path to 48V full hybrids (HEV) as upgrades of existing models, 48V hybrid sales could rise to a massive 20% of all car production. Far more electrification is possible than previously realized.

Examples of the large emerging market for 0.1 kWh to 1MWh supercapacitors. Source: IDTechEx “Supercapacitor Markets, Technology Roadmap, Opportunities 2021-2041”

This is so when you add one of the many low-cost e-axles now available to make it a full hybrid going long distances on electric only, with much more efficient regenerative braking.

IDTechEx believes that HEVs could drop 10% in cost and it proposes solar wrap as an easy route to 10% more electricity on top of that.

Supercapacitors next

The research body praises Geely working with Tesla Maxwell to add a large supercapacitor that permits many more electric devices to kick in at the same time, saving on the size of the lithium-ion battery. This is a natural progression from supercapacitors already replacing lithium-ion batteries in ten million microhybrid cars primarily thanks to Tesla Maxwell.

However, GM China is working on a next stage that replaces the two batteries and the converter with a single cheaper, better-performing device, smaller and lighter too. Its Multiple Output Dynamically Adjustable Capacity(MODACS) device has supercapacitor and battery electrodes swimming in the same electrolyte.

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