The electric power required in automotive systems is quickly reaching a level that significantly impacts costs and fuel consumption. This drives the need to reconsider an electric energy management function. Fast evolving factors such as increasing power usage, and stricter engine management and reliability requirements necessitate a global vehicle approach to energy management. Innovations such as new powernet concepts (42 volt or dual voltage systems), new component technologies (high-performance energy storage, high efficiency and controllable generators), and global electronic and software architecture concepts will enable this new energy management concept. This paper describes key issues to maximize energy availability with reasonable components.