The traditional twelve-volt automotive system is already being strained by luxury add-ins and with the coming inclusion of the next generation powertrain systems, it is now apparent that the electrical system has to provide more power than a twelve-volt system could ever economically supply. The advances in HCCI and SI engine technology will lead to direct injection, Variable Valve Actuation & Control, variable compression technology and CVT transmissions that require much more electrical energy than the current alternator can supply.
The hybrid vehicle and the drive towards fuel cell vehicles will enable a series of other exciting options to the automotive digital design engineer. The enablement of new hybrid powertrain solutions, x-by wire, Digital Electro-Mechanical Brake (EMB) and electric power assisted steering systems that a 42 volt electrical system becomes a clear next generation choice for many automotive OEM's. The electrical systems that are enabled by hybrid powertrain vehicles brings new system partitioning options along with new challenges.