Kia to push first mild-hybrid system this year
Korea’s Kia will introduce their first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the second half of 2018. The first model to utilise the compact system will be the Kia Sportage before the mild-hybrid will help along the Ceed as well from 2019.
Called EcoDynamics+, Kia’s mild-hybrid system helps acceleration with electric power from the 48-volt battery using its Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. Apart from the Sportage and Ceed models, it can easily be integrated into other models as well.
Kia’s mild-hybrid technology features a compact 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG). The system switches electronically between motor and generator mode. 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 48V mild-hybrid powertrain is the first new technology to be launched as part of Kia’s wider powertrain electrification strategy. Kia plans to launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles and a new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.
The Koreans are not alone in their endeavour to increase their fleet economy with the lowest form of electrification. French PSA has just teamed up with Punch Powertrain to supply its transmission systems by 2022 as part of the group’s electrification push. Their transmission will equip mild-hybrid vehicles and the partners are discussing an extension of their cooperation (we reported).
Volkswagen has jumped on the mild-hybrid powertrain as well reportedly and will equip the next-gen Golf with it, calling it “the first step into the world of efficient electrified models.” Technically, Volkswagen too will combine the combustion engine with a 48-V belt-integrated starter generator and a 48-V battery.