Kia Motors will introduce its first 48-volt diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the second half of 2018. The new ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain reduces carbon dioxide emissions by supplementing acceleration with electric power from an additional 48V battery and extending combustion engine ‘off time’ using a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) unit.
EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid technology offers a compelling cost-to-performance ratio compared to full hybrid powertrains. The compact nature of the components means the technology can be integrated into existing vehicle and powertrain architectures without impacting practicality or packaging. Kia’s mild-hybrid powertrain is designed to fit seamlessly into consumers’ lives, with no plug-in recharging required.
The Sportage will be the first model to offer the new EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain later in 2018. The new third-generation Ceed will be the second among a range of Kia models to offer the new powertrain from 2019.
The 48V mild-hybrid powertrain is the first new technology to be launched as part of Kia’s wider powertrain electrification strategy. The introduction of the new 48V powertrain means Kia is the first manufacturer to offer consumers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48V technology across its model line-up.
The Korean carmaker plans to launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including 5 new hybrids, 5 plug-in hybrids, 5 battery-electric vehicles and, in 2020, a new fuel-cell electric vehicle.
The EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain will enable Kia to offer cleaner diesel engines. The system is paired with Kia’s Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by up to 4% on the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), and up to 7% on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
The compact nature of the technology means that integrating the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid system into existing vehicle architecture is relatively straightforward. Depending on vehicle, the 48V battery will be located beneath the boot floor, minimising the impact on vehicle practicality. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there is little need to repackage the engine bay.
The 48V battery’s DC/DC converter enables the new battery to connect to the vehicle’s on-board power supply, leading to a significant reduction in the size of the 12V battery required to power the car’s ancillary electronics.
The adoption of the MHSG also means the conventional starter motor can be downsized and used primarily for cold starts at low temperatures. Charge from the 48V battery helps to start the engine in most conditions.
Kia’s EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions, and could be adapted for FWD, RWD and even AWD drivetrain layouts. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in petrol engines.
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