Alternative powertrains might not be the first attribute that comes to mind at the mention of Kia, but the Korean brand does build EVs, plug-in hybrids, and traditional hybrid vehicles. Now, in Europe, Kia is adding a fourth electrified powertrain in the form of a 48-volt hybrid-assist system.
Dubbed EcoDynamics+ and used in the Sportage, it pairs a diesel engine with a 48-volt electric motor. The system’s Mild Hybrid Starter/Generator (MHSG) serves two functions. With a belt-drive connection to the diesel engine’s crankshaft, it can provide additional grunt so the diesel engine doesn’t have to work as hard, which can save fuel and lower emissions. Additionally, in generator mode, it recuperates energy, which it uses to recharge the lithium-ion battery. The system also allows for an auto stop/start function in which the engine can shut down during deceleration and braking as well as when the vehicle is stopped. The 48-volt battery also connects to the vehicle’s conventional electrical system, allowing the Sportage to use a smaller 12-volt battery.
- Kia Niro EV Makes the Transition from Concept to Reality
- 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Instrumented Test
- Kia Sportage: Full News, Reviews, Specs, Pricing, Photos, and More
Kia says the EcoDynamics+ system is compatible with gasoline as well as diesel engines, can work with manual or automatic transmissions, and can be adapted for front-, rear-, or all-wheel-drive architectures. So far, the company is not saying whether the system will come to the U.S. market, but given its flexibility, we expect to see it here in the not too distant future.
You Might Also Like