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Challenges for 48-Volt Migration in Heavy Truck Industry

As per current estimates, electrical demand on a truck may increase up to 40 kW by the end of 2030. This means it is imperative to upgrade the electrical system with a 48-volt migration in the pipeline. As of now, 24-volt capacity is working in Europe but there are probabilities that this might bring us back to capacity after 10-15 years. However, most of the experts opine that moving on to 48 volts is a wiser decision keeping in mind the future line-up of high-tech equipment.

The Challenges for 48-Volt Migration:

This migration is expected to open new possibilities for enhanced fuel savings and emission control. It will transform the form and function of class-8 trucks. However, this transition will come along with a lot of challenges as well.

  • It will be difficult to change the fuses, load controllers, and diffusers to this capacity.
  • The interconnection technologies offer optimal cost benefits and performance in a 12-volt environment but that may not be possible in the 48-volt capacity.
  • The current electrical components will need a complete redesign at 48 volts to make them capable of working at high temperatures.
  • Component suppliers will be affected due to the need for stronger insulation and entirely new designs. Moreover, they need to devise a separate coding system for 48 volts.

The Need for Moving to 48 Volts:

The heavy-duty trucking industry is evolving in terms of technology and efficiency. The electrical systems based on 48-volt migration will make them easier and safer to drive in the future. It will completely transform the heavy truck powertrain. There will be no need for drive mounts on the front of a truck's engine resulting in reduced parasitic losses.

Furthermore, this technology will enable installation of electro-mechanical valve actuators for independent operational controls. Using this technology, more energy will be harvested from smaller engines to save environment and reduce TCO over time.