i3 - May/June 2018 - 27

Volvo Cars announced
that every new vehicle it
launches starting in 2019
will have an electric
motor, while no car
will have only an ICE.

of manufacturers including Volvo are doing - plug-in hybrid, and more
battery electric vehicles at the high end for the most efficiency improvement but at the highest cost, as well."
Most of the hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) on the road today, such as the
Toyota Prius, are called strong hybrids and are equipped with 200- to 300volt batteries. Traditional ICE-powered vehicles have 12-volt electrical systems. Moving to a 48-volt mild hybrid technology provides 70 percent of the
benefit of a strong hybrid (equal to a 15-20 percent improvement in fuel
economy) at about 30 percent of the cost ($1,000), Abuelsamid says.
Audi rolled out the first 48-volt mild hybrid, the SQ7 SUV, in Europe last
year, Abuelsamid notes. The Audi A7 and A8 are following, along with models
from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo, he points out.
In Europe, a consumer backlash against diesel-powered vehicles following emissions-testing scandals is encouraging the shift to 48-volt mild
hybrids, and regulatory demand is pushing BEV development,
he adds. "Here in North America where fuel costs are much
lower than they are in Europe and other parts of the
world, it's definitely driven more by regulatory
demand than by actual consumer demand."
Even so, ICE won't be displaced anytime
soon, Abuelsamid says. "All of those mild
hybrids and plug-in hybrids are going to
represent the vast majority of electrified
C TA . t e c h / i 3

vehicles for at least the next 10 to 15 years,
and all of those cars still have engines.
There are still going to be vehicles running on gasoline and even diesel for many
years to come, probably well into the
2040s," Abuelsamid forecasts.

STARTING WITH A CLEAN SHEET

Many automakers are transitioning to
exclusively electrified vehicles regardless
of consumer interest.
Volvo Cars announced that every new
vehicle it launches starting in 2019 will
have an electric motor, while no car will
have only an ICE. These will
include five fully electric cars
between 2019 and 2021, all of
which will be either a PHEV or
a 48-volt mild hybrid paired
with a gasoline or a diesel engine.
"This announcement marks the
end of the solely combustion
engine-powered car," HÃ¥kan
MAY/JUNE 2018

27


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