Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Kia to launch 48V mild hybrid diesel

Kia to launch 48V mild hybrid diesel

The Korean auto maker has confirmed a new 48-volt battery with starter generator unit will feature on vehicles in Europe from this year, beginning with the Sportage SUV.

Kia says that its mild-hybrid technology can provide extra acceleration for overtaking, as well as reducing engine load when the vehicle is being driven more gently. Kia Motors is the first manufacturer to offer consumers hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery-electric and 48-volt technology across its model line-up.

In the diesel Sportage, Kia says the 48-volt system improves fuel efficiency by 4 percent in Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedures and 7 percent in the New European Driving Cycle tests.

Controlled by an advanced ECU, the powertrain benefits from a new "Moving Stop & Start" function. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during deceleration and braking.

The company's plan is to launch 16 "advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025", including 5 EVs, 5 PHEVs and 5 hybrids, in addition to a new FCV in 2020. The MHSG can then quickly restart the engine the moment the driver presses the accelerator pedal. After the diesel mild hybrid's introduction, Kia will use the technology in a gasoline-powered vehicle. Because the MHSG integrates directly with the engine, driving the crankshaft via a belt, there is little need to repackage the engine bay. The battery will sit below the boot floor in most installations, and the strain this system takes off the traditional starter motor and 12v battery means that both of those items can be replaced with smaller, more compact components.

The EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain will help Kia offer cleaner and more frugal diesel engines.

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

The mild hybrid system will eventually expanded for use beyond just diesel engines, which means that we'll likely see it bolted onto a gas engine in the U.S.in the not too distant future.

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