Tesla Cybertruck Leading the Way
Tesla continues to make advancements to its EVs’ low-voltage system, which hitherto has operated at about 12 volts as with most cars.
At Tesla’s 2023 Investor Day, its representatives announced their plan to roll out a 48V system, one still scarcely seen over the years in the automotive world.
Tesla took its first steps with a move away from 12V lead-acid auxiliary batteries to a more modern version of the technology, 12V lithium-ion auxiliary batteries. This switch was declared in February 2021 and was introduced as an update to Tesla Model S/Model X (starting with the Plaid) – you can go here for an in-depth teardown – and later, it was used in Model 3/Model Y at the end of the same year.
Tesla has suggested that lead-acid batteries were considered a significant cause of breakdowns in their vehicles, necessitating replacement around every four years. However, the company has improved upon this with their new lithium-ion batteries, which are projected to last as long as the main power source and are not prescribed for replacement at any point.
Evidently, there is a visible amelioration; in addition to which is the bonus of a much smaller size and less mass (87% reduction).
Tesla declares that, beginning with the unveiling of the Cybertruck this year, Future EV models and the Optiums robot shall all operate on a 48V low-voltage system.
In the 1960s, the automotive industry transitioned from 6V to 12V electrical systems. Even now, some of the smaller vehicles still use 6V batteries, whereas more powerful cars rely on 24V ones.
Tesla has opted for a 48V system since it will reduce the current by four times, in comparison to 12V systems. At this voltage level there remains a sense of safety.
The surge in voltage is a requirement since the need for onboard electrical gadgets perpetually rises, and with 12V, the connections are becoming large, weighty, and extravagant.
Utilizing a 48V system will bring about significant decreases in weight and cost, with potential boosts to efficiency as well.
That’s a really intriguing alteration that would also necessitate a fresh 48V lithium-ion auxiliary battery; in the instance of Tesla, it could even be made internally (we don’t know however).