What are the different battery voltages trucks work with?

I am aware of 12v and 24v batteries, are any any systems that work with voltages above 24v?

Can i safely get a 12 or a 24v system on any vehicle may it be a car or a truck or a heavy weight truck?

  • I'm not sure I understand what you are getting at with your last question ... vehicles come with what they come with. Most passenger cars and light trucks come with 12v systems. Commercial trucks come mostly with 24v systems. I personally have not seen anything beyond this as far as voltage goes. I believe a lot of big trucks use four 12v batteries, each of two in parallel and then those two sets in series to create a 24v system with added amperage. If you could clarify what you're asking, we might be able to answer coherently. Dec 9, 2015 at 15:46
  • What I meant to ask was if a 12v Plug/Wire/TappingPoint was available on a 24v Power System Truck. If a system used 11v or 24v or 48v i need to make my device tolerent from 10v - 50v Otherwise i can keep it at 10v-25v. Dec 9, 2015 at 18:03
  • A 12v battery is fairly standard through out ... well ... everywhere. With that in mind, a 12v source can be tapped right off of that. On a separate note, something to think about is, if you are tapping off of the battery system, what happens if these batteries are unhooked for any reason? I'd consider including some type of rechargeable battery backup ... just a thought. Dec 9, 2015 at 19:01
  • already planned :) thanks for the thought though, oh and the system also alerts if the Vehicle battery is disconnected Dec 10, 2015 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


The early Volkswagen Beetles (the air-cooled, rear engine'd ones) started off with a 6 volt system, the same as some other classic cars and motorbikes.

Obviously there are the 12 volt systems used in most cars and 24 volt used in trucks. The truck systems typically use multiple 12 volt batteries wired in series to provide 24 volts. This is certainly the configuration at my old MAN 7.5 tonne truck used.

It's also worthy of mention, although not in your original question, that there are two polarity of systems used in cars. Older classic cars can be "Positive Earth" where the +ve terminal of the battery is wired to the chassis and electrical systems are "wired" back to the -ve terminal via the wiring loom. Modern vehicles tend to run "Negative Earth" where the -ve terminal is wired to the chassis and the electrical system, via the wiring loom and fuse box, are attached to the +ve terminal of the battery.

You can not mix 6, 12 and 24 volt components but you typically will find that most modern trucks that run 24 volt will provide an accessory socket for 12 volt somewhere on the dashboard.

If you are asking about converting a 12volt vehicle to 24volt, this is a very involved process as not only are all of the bulbs rated at the appropriate voltage, but all of the switches, the loom itself and systems such as the ECU are all designed to be run at 12volt.

It may help if you included the reason why your are asking the question.

  • 2
    The reason i asked is I am making a Vehicle Tracking unit that can run on bikes, cars and trucks. I am keeping the voltage source as 9v-26v If everyone will be 12v or 24v, someone told me in my locality that 48v Trucks exists so I was hesitating while doing the power supply section to my module. Thanks for the Detail Dec 9, 2015 at 18:00
  • 1
    STmicro has a lot of voltage regulators with clamping voltages up to 70V. I think most of them top out around 500ma, though.
    – TMN
    Dec 9, 2015 at 20:34

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