AD #1885 – VW Plans to Restructure, Mercedes Turns to 48-Volt System, Nissan Developing Multiple Fuel Fuel-Cell

June 15th, 2016 at 11:26am

Runtime: 6:37

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- Volkswagen Plans to Restructure
- Verizon Helps Tackle Fleet Management
- China Works at Breakneck Speeds
- Mercedes Turns to 48-Volt System
- Nissan Developing Multiple Fuel Fuel-Cell

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9 Comments to “AD #1885 – VW Plans to Restructure, Mercedes Turns to 48-Volt System, Nissan Developing Multiple Fuel Fuel-Cell”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While China may work at break-neck speeds, and the rest of the world may learn to speed things up (a bit), is it still a quality versus quantity equation; so far, and seeing what China is producing, I think maybe they ought to slow down a bit.

    And on the ethanol fuel cell; doesn’t this inject another fuel that would be needed to be supplied to an already fuel ‘variable’ distribution that is difficult to render. I offer: gasoline, ethanol blend, natural gas, electricity, diesel, propane, biofuels, etc. and I know I’m forgetting some. Some alternatives, sure, but too many is not good either; guess they’re throwing out a bunch of alternatives (to see which one(s) stick).

  2. WineGeek Says:

    The ethanol fuel cell may increase the acceptance of fuel cell vehicles by utilizing the existing fuel distribution network and alleviating the need to build an entirely new hydrogen distribution network.

    Sounds like an interesting idea coming to a dealer near you in about a decade…

  3. David Sprowl Says:

    I’m leery of “fast” design times. Cutting out significant & valid long term testing has lead to multiple catastrophic failures. Ignition switches, diesel emissions comes to mind.

  4. Lisk Says:

    Japan kind of showed the way by cutting the new model cycle during the 80s-90s by doing 5-yr (approx) cycles rather than the Big 3s 7-9 year lifespans.
    That being said China has the right idea, but I’m not sure it can be executed. Folks nowadays want something new all the time. Look at cell phones as a prime example. Who, of those under 30, have a cell phone that’s more than 2 years old?
    Cars on the other hand can’t have the hard parts fixed with software fixes like electronics and I’d hate to be riding in car that had less than three years of development under foot. Computer modelling and simulations only go so far, but in the future I can see cars going from bits and bytes to the finished product with no prototyping.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 If ethanol fuel cell cars actually come to pass, stations now selling E-85 could switch to E-99, or whatever. No one uses E-85 anyway, do they? At least where I’ve seen E-85, it isn’t nearly cheap enough to cover the mpg difference from regular E-10.

  6. BobD Says:

    4- There is a difference between “disposable” designs such as cell phones, and products consumers expect to last longer and longer as new designs are released. Ford and others were chasing the goal of reducing design cycles from 60 months to as little as 24 months. On the way to the stated goal, they discovered quality suffered and walked back the targets in the neighborhood of 36 months. Even that number is very misleading, because of where the clock starts and stops, and how many “shelf-ready” component designs are used.

    Also, quick hardware prototypes to demonstrate external styling (which might be slapped onto an existing mule) is significantly different than a finalized design ready for production, unless of course all the underlying design is “borrowed” from a competitor’s vehicle.

  7. W L Simpson Says:

    The focus should be on better , not newer. Basic design faults seem to never be addressed, but I did notice that Equinox, among others, is finally
    entering the digital age , instrument panel/wise.

  8. Bob Wilson Says:

    About the 48V system: “… It will be used to power functions like brake regeneration, …” The smallest, 2016 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 weighs 3,274 lbs. If regenerative braking were as efficient as the 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds time Edmunds measured in acceleration, it would take ~215 hp or 160,000 Watts requiring ~3,333 Amps. Such currents in a 48V system are impractical.

    The real problem are the other loads, “… stop/start and electric boost …” because it delays the design and implementation of true, power electronics. The 48V accessory development costs the same as a high voltage system, actually closer to house voltages.

    GM’s Saturn VUE also used a 48V and appropriately disappeared. The claimed performance, “70%” is not there because of their limited power but 100% of the development and deployment cost is there.

    Bob Wilson, Huntsville, AL

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The biggest recent changes in cars, seem to be electronics. My 2010 Prius and MINI both have CD players, and neither has bluetooth. Now, even the most basic cars would have bluetooth standard, and few, if any new cars have CD players.

    Now, they need to improve the electronics. They should look at Chrysler’s, for ease of use, (but not ease of hacking).