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Delphi unveils new 48V mild hybrid system; working with two OEMs toward production within 18 months

Delphi Automotive PLC unveiled a 48-volt mild-hybrid vehicle solution; the company confirmed it is working with two global automakers and could see production within 18 months.

Showcased in a Honda Civic 1.6-liter diesel vehicle at the company’s annual investor update in London, Delphi’s 48-volt, mild hybrid technology uses the 48-volt electrification to minimize the demand on the engine, improving performance while lowering CO2 emissions by more than 10%.


This is not only a significant step forward with reinventing the electrical architecture for dual voltage capability, it is also a triumph of software. This intelligent approach to vehicle power, wiring and data management will not only improve fuel efficiency, but will also enable a world-class driving experience while providing additional power for active safety systems and increased connectivity in the car.

—Jeff Owens, Delphi’s chief technology officer

The Delphi system leverages an e-charger for improved vehicle launch. Delphi’s demonstration vehicle increases low-end torque an average 25%.

According to Owens, Delphi will have a competitive advantage in 48-volt, mild hybrid systems because of the company’s deep history in system design, proprietary engine management software and expertise in electrical architectures.

One out of every 10 cars sold globally in 2025 will be a 48-volt, mild hybrid. To put that into perspective, that’s 11 million units a year—three times the volume of pickup trucks sold annually and more than half of the world’s anticipated diesel passenger car market. (Data source: IHS]

—Jeff Owens


  • Kuypers, M. (2014) “Application of 48 Volt for Mild Hybrid Vehicles and High Power Loads,” SAE Technical Paper 2014-01-1790 doi: 10.4271/2014-01-1790

  • Brown, A., Nalbach, M., Kahnt, S., and Korner, A. (2016) “CO2 Emissions Reduction via 48V Active Engine-Off Coasting,” SAE Int. J. Alt. Power. 5(1) doi: 10.4271/2016-01-1152


Juan Valdez

"10% will be mild hybrids by 2025"???? Telsa's Model 3 fully electric car with 300,000 orders+ has demonstrated an unmet demand for long-range, electric cars.

I think auto manufacturers are scambling to catchup with Telsa. I don't think they have much interest in partial solutions like this.

That said, I do like this 48v idea, because it could be bolted into every car as an immediate step to lowering emissions.

Come on car companies, do this, while you figure out how to survive in an electric world!!

James McLaughlin

Decaf, Juan, Decaf. I agree, but try Decaf next time.


A reasonable level of effort would have 50% as mild hybrids, 20% hybrids and at least 5% PHEVs by 2025.

Bob Wilson

So it takes 745 W / 48 V = 15.5 A for 1 HP. Would you like to drive a 1 hp car?

Ok, let's go to 10 hp, 155 A so now we're talking conductors the size of a dime.

This is total nonsense. Bring on the examples so we can get over it as soon as possible.

Of course it will appeal to accountants at car companies … not engineers but the accountants like the ones who led GM and Chrysler to their excellence in 2008.

Accountants in car companies should be treated with the respect and pay of a secretary, low level. They have no business making faux engineering decisions.

Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL


Bob, regular battery cables are a fraction of the size of a dime and can handle several hundred amperes.  Maybe you work for Crisisler Huntsville, but you're not on the level of the engineers who actually make it all work.


In the US CAFE/CO2 regulations will force this type of system or other electrified powertrains into the market. It is certainly not happening by consumer demand at this time. CAFE compliance will be a very hard driver for certain OEMs in a few years. Mild hybrids may prove to be the most cost effective route to compliance.

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