Kia Motors is serving us a full course meal. Aside from the facelifted Kia Sportage, the Korean brand will also be launching its very first 48V mild-hybrid diesel engine system on the said model in the second half of 2018. Kia claims that the new EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid powertrain can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by almost 4%.
So, how does it work? The mild-hybrid system comes with a compact 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium ion battery and a Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG), which allows the combustion engine to rest longer. This technology can be switched to ‘motor’ or ‘generator’ modes electronically. It’s connected with a belt to the engine’s crankshaft to produce up to 10kW of electric assistance in ‘motor’ mode, reducing engine load and emissions.
When you activate the ‘generator’ mode, the system collects the kinetic energy from the vehicle during the in-gear deceleration and braking to recharge the batteries. It also features a stop-start function that automatically turns off engine while the vehicle decelerates and starts it again when the driver floored the accelerator pedal.
With the adoption of the MHSG, conventional starter motor can be downsized and used for cold starts at low temperatures. The 48V battery will be located beneath the floor, minimizing the impact on vehicle practicality. It also comes with a converter that enables the new battery to connect to the vehicle’s onboard power supply.
The EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid engine is compatible with both manual and automatic transmission, and could be adapted for front-, rear-, and all-wheel drivetrain layouts, as well as gasoline engines.
Next year, the Korean brand will also fit the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid engine in the new third-generation Ceed. Aside from that, Kia is planning to launch a new fuel-cell electric vehicle by 2020, as well as five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, and five battery-electric vehicles by 2025.
All of these are part of Kia’s global efforts to improve whole-fleet fuel efficiency. The Korean marque promised to give more detailed plans for this new mild-hybrid technology in the coming months.