Continental reveals full hybrid vehicle with 48V technology

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 02 Jul 2019


Tier 1 supplier Continental has achieved a technology breakthrough. The global technology company has, for some years now, been backing environmentally friendly and cost-effective 48-volt electrification, which can be used with both petrol and diesel engines. In the run-up to IAA 2019, Continental's Powertrain division has showcased the latest innovation to come from its 48-volt drive solution: the 48-volt high-power drive system with 30 kW.

The big eco-friendly news is of a full-hybrid vehicle with 48-volt technology – this was previously deemed impossible. For a hybrid vehicle to drive using just electricity, the electric part of the drive would normally use high voltage technology – high voltages of up to 800 volts. However, Continental’s engineers have now succeeded in developing a 48-volt hybrid system that boasts features similar to those of a high-voltage electric drive, namely 48-volt high-power technology.

48-volt high-power electric motor with a peak output of 30 kW enables a level of performance previously possible only using high-voltage technology. All-electric driving thereby becomes possible with 48-volt technology, says Continental.

“Thanks to its broad systems expertise, Continental Powertrain is mastering all variants of the electric drive, from 48-volt systems to hybrid technologies, right through to high-voltage components. We offer expertise and state-of-the-art technology from a single source,” said Andreas Wolf, CEO of Continental’s powertrain business.

"The new 48-volt high-power system, comprising an electric motor complete with integrated power electronics and a battery, reduces fuel consumption and thereby also CO2 emissions by around 20 percent compared with similar vehicles fitted with combustion engines. At the same time, the new 48-volt technology is also considerably cheaper than the high-voltage systems used up to now.

“Our development objective was to achieve a level of driving efficiency with 48-volt technology that was previously reserved for high-voltage systems and we have now done exactly that,” said Stephan Rebhan, head of Technology & Innovation at Powertrain.