Kia to introduce 48v mild-hybrid diesel technology

Kia Sportage mild-hybrid 2018

It means the engine can switch off earlier and for longer, even while the vehicle is moving, and lean on a 13bhp power boost from the motor while accelerating, both of which reduce fuel consumption. Kia Motors is the first manufacturer to offer consumers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt technology across its model line-up.

Sportage will be the first model to offer the new EcoDynamics+ powertrain later in 2018.

Combining a turbo-diesel engine with a 48V electric motor, Kia says the mild-hybrid setup "provides electric power and reduces engine load under acceleration", while also recuperating energy during in-gear deceleration and braking. By electronically controlling the MHSG using the inverter, the system switches between two modes: "motor" and "generator".

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

While some automakers have started ditching oil burners completely, others, such as Kia, continue to invest in new technology that helps diesels improve fuel economy and emit less CO2.

The system incorporates a 48v battery with a starter generator unit, similar in principle to the tech used current vehicles as wide-ranging as the Suzuki Ignis and the Audi A8.

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That all translates to greater efficiency, additional torque for hard acceleration and reduced engine load during light acceleration. It also extends the vehicle's "start-stop" capability by shutting down the engine as the vehicle coasts to a rest. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during in-gear deceleration and braking. As for the MHSG, since it integrates directly with the engine, there will be little need to repackage the engine bay.

The 48V battery DC/DC converter enables the battery to connect to the vehicle's on-board power supply, reducing the reliance on the vehicle's 12V battery required to power the vehicle's ancillary electronics.

In most cases, the battery will sit below the floor, and in a further packaging boost, will encourage development of smaller, more compact engine components such as the traditional starter motor - owed to the fact it takes strain off the engine.

The system is compatible with both manual and automatic transmissions vehicles, and could be adapted for front or rear wheel drive, or all-wheel drivetrain configurations.

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

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