Continental Eco Drive

48-volt
Continental has developed a 48-Volt system that can be added to existing vehicles. It’s a perfect bridge for the gap between internal combustion and electrification.

48-volt

This new type of small electric engine can be combined with gas or diesel engines. It is a bespoke electrification that can be tailor made for individual needs and is called a mild hybrid.

This 48-Volt conversion system replaces the alternator and starter motor with a single belt driven starter generator and is supplemented with a small cost-efficient 48-Volt battery and a voltage transformer to convert the DCDC from 48 to 12 volts.

48-volt

The voltage transformer would be responsible for the exchange of energy between the 48-volt and 12-volt power systems.

48-volt

If you take your foot off the gas, the engine goes into coasting mode. This turns off the engine, while the car continues to glide forward with ongoing momentum. The small electric motor would then supplement the vehicle’s momentum and allow it to use only electric energy.

48-volt

Continental’s system will also utilize regenerative braking. When slowing down, the system will recoup energy and store it in the 48-volt battery.

The system can provide help for the combustion engine as well. It can provide an E-Boost for extra energy when climbing a hill or accelerating.

48-volt

With 48 Volts available to help, starting the engine is a breeze. This amount of power is enough to quickly crank an engine to start in about half a second. No more long cranks on a cold engine.

So, with all of this wide range of use, a 48-volt mild hybridization is expected to cut the fuel consumption down by as much as 21% and in turn will reduce CO2 emissions considerably.

Continental’s system is being used in Europe now and will hopefully make its way elsewhere very soon. The idea is ingenious and should be an affordable way for anyone interested, to step into the realm of electric vehicles.

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