Cars to get more power

An article from Car Audio Electronics magazine is reporting that there has been a recent agreement by auto makers in the US and Europe about the adoption of a 36-Volt system for cars.

The drivers are environmental impact and the growing power needs of the automobile user (TV, VCR, cell phone, laptop, GameBoy...).

The play involves replacing the existing 12V battery with a 36-volt battery and replacing the existing 14V alternators with units generating 42V.

Predictions are that the higher-priced luxury cars will be the first to adopt the systems, and although there have been no official announcements yet, the article expects to see cars adopting it by 2004 (although they don't say whether that is calendar year 2004 or model year 2004).

Older articles, such as this Naperville Sun article archived by MIT, had predicted the movement in 2003, but that was ahead of the recent industry moves, and based mostly on reasearch.

Further, a recent article (December) from Car and Driver states that the 2005 roll-out of a Mercedes 42-volt vehicle has been put on hold and that the new standard may be further away.