Valeo sees big shift to 48-volt systems in China

October 20, 2018 06:01 CET

Valeo predicts more than 4 million new vehicles will be equipped with 48-volt systems in China annually by 2023.

“That’s about 13 percent of annual vehicle production in China by then,” Valeo China President Francois Marion estimated last month at a news briefing in Shanghai.

Chinese automakers did not embrace 48-volt systems until last year. The systems enable automakers to apply fuel-saving and cost-effective technologies such as stop-start systems, regenerative braking and e-turbochargers.

The main factor driving the application of 48-volt systems is China’s tougher fuel economy and emission control requirements, said Michael Forissier, head of global r&d and product marketing director for Valeo Powertrain Systems.

The Chinese government is requiring automakers to cut average fleet fuel consumption to 5 liters per 100 kilometers (47 mpg U.S./57 mpg UK) in 2020 from 6 liters (39 mpg U.S./47 mpg UK) in 2016.

The pressure on automakers will continue to intensify in 2025, when they must reduce fuel consumption to 4 liters per 100 kilometers (59 mpg U.S./71 mpg UK).

To meet the regulatory requirements, it is “absolutely necessary” for automakers in China to install 48-volt systems across their light-vehicle lineups, especially gas-guzzling crossovers and SUVs, Forissier noted.

In early 2017, Valeo became the first global supplier to build 48-volt systems in China. The French supplier says its system — which includes an e-supercharger and a starter generator — can improve fuel economy by 15 percent.

Other 48-volt suppliers include Continental, Delphi Automotive, Robert Bosch and Schaeffler.

Valeo has landed more than 20 orders for the systems globally, including 12 orders from China.

Based on the orders it has secured, Valeo is now the largest supplier of 48-volt systems in China, according to Marion.

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