1998-10-19

Making the Case for a Next Generation Automotive Electrical System 98C006

Introduction of an array of new electrical and electronic features into future vehicles is generating vehicle electrical power requirements that exceed the capabilities of today's 14 volt electrical systems. In the near term (5 to 10 years), the existing 14V system will be marginally capable of supporting the expected additional loads with escalating costs for the associated charging system. However, significant increases in vehicle functional content are expected as future requirements to meet longer-term (beyond 10 years) needs in the areas of emission control, fuel economy, safety, and passenger comfort. A higher voltage electrical system will be required to meet these future requirements. This paper explores the functional needs that will mandate a higher voltage system and the benefits derivable from its implementation. Two plausible architectures for implementing dual-voltage 42/14V systems that can meet the needs of future vehicles are described, either of which could gain wide industry acceptance. Finally, discussion focuses on the important role which automotive electrical standards will play in support of orderly worldwide deployment of these new systems

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