Diesel mild-hybrid Kia Sportage goes on sale later in 2018; other models and a new gasoline mild-hybrid to follow

Diesel mild-hybrid Kia Sportage goes on sale later in 2018; other models and a new gasoline mild-hybrid to follow

Kia Motors says its new Kia Sportage, to be launched later this year in Europe, will be the brand's first to equipped with a new 'EcoDynamics+' 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain.

Kia claims it is the first manufacturer to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt mild-hybrid technology across its full model line-up. Kia says it will launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five 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, Kia says. The system is paired with Kia's Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, reducing CO2 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).

EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid technology with 'motor' and 'generator' modes

Kia's mild-hybrid technology features a 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG). By electronically controlling the MHSG using the inverter, the system switches between two modes: 'motor' and 'generator'. Connected by a belt to the diesel engine's crankshaft, under acceleration the MHSG provides up to 10kW of electric power assistance to the powertrain in 'motor' mode, reducing engine load and emissions. In 'generator' mode, the system harvests kinetic energy from the vehicle during in-gear deceleration and braking and uses the power to recharge the batteries.

The system is controlled by an advanced Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which calculates the most efficient use of the available energy, and adjusts accordingly, taking into account the amount of charge remaining in the car's batteries.

Kia maintains that 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 (trunk) 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 says.

Kia's EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions, and could be adapted for front-, rear- and all-wheel drivetrain layouts. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in gasoline engines.

Kia says it will communicate more detailed plans for the roll-out of its new mild-hybrid technology in the coming months.

European customer deliveries of the new Sportage model will start during Q3 2018.

241,940

Forecast volume of 48V mild-hybrids fitted to newly-assembled passenger cars and light vehicles in Korea, 2021

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