Volkswagen introduces 48V mild-hybrid system to the Golf

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In a first step toward comprehensive vehicle electrification, the German auto maker is set to add 48V mild-hybrid technology to the Golf before rolling it out to other models in the VW line-up.

Volkswagen is to launch an electric version of the Golf, promising a sustainable, efficient and powerful alternative. The introduction of innovative, new hybrid systems in the eighth generation Golf marks the start of the gradual electrification of almost every vehicle in the VW range.

“Electrifying conventional drives will enable us to further reduce consumption and emissions while also increasing dynamics and convenience,” said Dr Frank Welsch, management board member for Volkswagen Passenger Cars with responsibility for technical development.

“We are starting this extensive electrification campaign with Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle to date – the Golf. Our newly developed, cost-effective 48V mild hybrid will pave the way for introducing this type of technology to the mainstream” added Welsch.

The auto maker will combine the combustion engine with a 48V belt-integrated starter generator and a 48V battery. The 48V mild hybrid makes it possible to coast with the combustion engine completely switched off, saving up to 0.3 liters of fuel over 100 kilometers.

The 48V system will be used in vehicles in addition to the existing 12V system. In the case of very small wire cross-sections and a lightweight wiring harness, the 48V system enables a considerably higher energy saving via brake recuperation. This high level of voltage enables actuation of the belt-integrated starter generator.

The starter-generator performs the role of alternator and starter. At the same time, it functions as a small, lightweight electric motor that immediately increases drive torque upon start-up by means of an electric boost. The power of the generator is transferred via a belt.

“The basic interaction of different energy sources – electricity, petrol, diesel and natural gas – represents a paradigm shift at Volkswagen, continued Welsch: “For the first time, the company will simultaneously offer product lines such as the Golf with conventional, electrically assisted drives as well as product lines such as the ID with purely electrical drives in the future.”

This will result in the product lines diverging into two equal branches. This new product strategy will come into play for the first time from 2019 onward with the launch of the next generation of the Golf and the first ID.

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Sam joined the UKi Media & Events automotive team in 2017. Having started out as assistant editor for a number of titles including Engine + Powertrain Technology International, Automotive Testing Technology International and Professional Motorsport World, he was appointed editor of E+PTI in 2020. Sam produces content for both the magazine and website.

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