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Kia Motors will introduce its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid later this year

The technology will make diesel engines cleaner.

Image: Newspress

KIA MOTORS WILL introduce its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the second half of 2018.

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 48-volt powertrain means Kia is the first manufacturer to offer consumers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt technology across its model line-up.

It’s part of a plan that will see Kia 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. It uses a smaller battery with a 48-volt system that requires little change to the car’s existing architecture. While not capable of providing direct electric drive to the wheels, like a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, it does give a boost to engine power, increasing torque and reducing engine load under light acceleration.

It works through a Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) that is connected to the engine’s crankshaft via a belt. In ‘motor’ mode is works to lower the loading placed on the engine, providing up to 10kW of electric assistance that can be used to power the car’s ancillary systems. On the move it can then switch to ‘generator’ mode, harvesting kinetic energy from the car to recharge the battery.

That battery, once sufficiently charged, allows for a ‘Moving Stop & Start’ function. This part of the system works much like the stop-start systems in many modern cars but can shut the engine off during in-gear deceleration when coming up to a stop, for example.

One other benefit of the MHSG system is the seamless restarting of the engine – even when on the move – as soon as the throttle is pressed.

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 petrol engines.

The system is paired with Kia’s Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology, reducing CO2 emissions by up to four per cent on the new Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), and up to seven per cent on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The roll-out of diesel mild-hybrid technology will contribute to the brand’s global efforts to improve whole-fleet fuel efficiency.

The Kia Sportage will be the first model to offer the new EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain later in 2018. The all-new third-generation Kia Ceed will be the second among a range of Kia models to offer the new powertrain from 2019.

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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