To 48-volt or not to 48-volt?

That is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles…wait a minute, I got confused.

Not long ago rumors surfaced that one reason the formal introduction of the C8 Corvette was delayed was because of electrical difficulties. More specifically, the 12-volt system standard in almost all cars since the 1950s was inadequate to handle all of the electrical doo-dads on the C8. Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t read anything as to whether or not the C8 will have a 48-volt system. From this article on CorvetteBlogger from last December:


“The alternative to the 12V system that most automakers are going with are 48V systems which provide more than enough electrical power through the system. Not only does a 48V system have the juice to handle the new electronics, but they can also offer the ability for more performance and fuel economy savings. In fact, 48V systems are described as ‘mild hybrids’ because the alternator is replaced with an electric generator to provide the additional electrical power. As more of the mechanical components can be converted to electric systems, that means less parasitic power loss to engines which improves fuel economy, reduces emissions and increases power…

So going back to the Corvette’s electrical woes, we can imagine several scenarios where either they went with the 12V system similar to the C7s for cost savings and they are finding it’s just not enough power, or they went with the 48V system and are having some growing pains in getting all the systems to work correctly. A third option might be a hybrid 12V/48V system that divides the system for lights and vehicle starting vs everything else. As Corvette is the ‘technological tip of the spear’ for GM, it seems unlikely that engineers would go with any system that isn’t state of the art.”


Does anyone reading know the answer? From this CNBC article and from Chevrolet a picture of a camouflaged C8 in New York earlier this month:


2020 Chevy Corvette C8 1


Once again, I am not sorry I purchased a used C7 Z06 last month. Actually, I’m even happier now because I have the last generation of front-engined Corvette that will ever be made. I am also happy, though, that the C8 is real and that we will see it soon. If anyone knows the answer as to whether the C8 has a 48-volt electrical system please let us know. Thanks.





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