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Kia to introduce 48v hybrid tech to diesel engines

16 May 2018

Kia said this technology offers a cost-to-performance ratio compared to full hybrid powertrains and will enable it to offer a cleaner diesel engine.

The new EcoDynamics+ powertrain will make its debut in the Sportage SUV during the second half of 2018, before being introduced to the Ceed small family vehicle in 2019.

Christened 'EcoDynamics+', the new mild-hybrid powertrain is paired with a 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and uses a new mild-hybrid starter-generator (MHSG) unit. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there is little need to repackage the engine bay.

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The electrified models will be two of 16 new advanced-powertrain vehicles Kia will introduce by 2025, including a electric version of Kia's Niro SUV later this year. The latter is connected to the diesel engine's crankshaft by a belt, and under acceleration, it provides up to 10kW (14PS / 13hp) of extra power. In "motor" mode, under acceleration, it uses battery charge to add torque to the engine to aid acceleration. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in petrol engines. The 48 volt generator recharges the vehicle's battery when the diesel engine is running. When braking mode is activated the generator, which charges the battery from the kinetic energy.

The battery recovers energy from the diesel engine's crankshaft when the vehicle is decelerating or driving downhill.

It can even deliver a "Moving Stop-Start" if there's enough charge in the battery. The MHSG can then seamlessly re-ignite the engine - in any situation - if the driver presses the throttle pedal. And because the 48V battery connects to the car's on-board power supply it means a smaller 12v battery and starter motor. The adoption of the MHSG also means the conventional starter motor can be made smaller and lighter, reserved primarily for cold starts at extremely low temperatures.

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The diesel mild-hybrid powertrain is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions, and could be adapted for front-, rear- and all-wheel drivetrain layouts.

Kia hasn't released any specs yet, but says that the 48V battery will be located beneath the boot floor, at least in the case of the Sportage.

Details of the pricing, performance and specification of the new Kia Sportage SUV have yet to be announced.

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Kia to introduce 48v hybrid tech to diesel engines