Making the Case for a Next Generation Automotive Electrical System
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.