Audi has announced plans to upgrade part of their vehicle electrical system from 12 to 48 volts. This will enable the company to incorporate a number of new performance and efficiency improvements.

Audi has announced plans to upgrade part of their vehicle electrical system from 12 to 48 volts.

As previewed on the RS 5 TDI concept, the new system features a subsidiary 48 volt electrical system that incorporates "new storage technologies and delivers much more power than the 12 volt system with lead batteries." That doesn't sound terribly exciting but Audi says the system can deliver improved performance and greater efficiency.

While the RS 5 TDI concept had a supplemental electric turbocharger, Audi is also testing a mild hybrid system that uses a lithium ion battery, an engine start/stop system and an "efficiency-optimized" alternator that has an energy recovery output of ten kilowatts which is significantly more than conventional alternators. The lithium ion battery powers the car when the engine is shut off and enables the powertrain to have fuel savings of approximately 0.4 L/100km.

According to Audi Technical Development boss Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, "We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy. Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this. It enables us to make more energy available. That paves the way for new technologies with which we can make our cars more sporty, more efficient and more convenient to use.”

Check out the press release for additional information

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