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The 48-volt revolution

Schaeffler is combining its passion for innovation to shape the future of mobility, underpinned by an investment in 48-volt infrastructure and electric drivetrain technologies to unleash greater potential in the hybrid and all electric vehicle market, as part of Schaeffler’s long term strategy ‘Mobility for the Future’.


For hybrid and pure electric vehicles, 48-volt based vehicle systems and technologies are a decisive step in making drivetrains more powerful and efficient for our future mobility needs.

As modern vehicles require ever increasing energy demands, the current 12V systems are a bottleneck to improvement in these areas. Ohm’s law states that voltage is the product of resistance and current. As demands increase, resistance increases.

Moving from 12V to 48V quadruples this voltage and in turn, power handling increases from 3kw’s to 12kw’s. Cable cross sections remain low despite additional demands, resulting in a 75% smaller cable thickness than used in 12V systems. Systems utilising 48V are also inherently safer.

Swapping to a 48V hybrid module for example reduces consumption by over 15% compared to conventional power units; the flow on effect is a reduction in CO2 emissions. Recovering braking energy is also a more efficient proposition utilising 48V infrastructure as the power that can be captured and transmitted is greater.


Utilising 48V systems provides technicians with a broad range of possibilities with electro mobility architectures opening up new drivetrain freedoms. Schaeffler engineers are at the cutting edge in this market with a number of innovative solutions.


A space saving electrically powered drive belt style motor that combines a starter and generator. The E-motor can be aligned with the transmission for restarting benefits, or used between the combustion engine and transmission to enable ‘boost’ and ‘coasting’ drive modes, reducing consumption and emissions.


A pioneering solution for both hybrid and fully electric vehicles. With concepts developed in the electric racing series ‘Formula E’, the E-axle provides power to the otherwise unpowered axle on the vehicle thanks to an efficient and innovative system.


Using a combination of electronics and mechanics, Schaeffler has automated the classic mechanically or hydraulically operated clutch through modern actuators.

There are many other innovative systems and technologies that will utilise 48V architecture in the future and Schaeffler will continue to be at the forefront, solving problems that yield to a better mobility future.