Posts Tagged ‘lithium ion’
Kia Motors sure is aiming to be the world’s leading mass-market electric vehicle producer. Although car manufacturer and brand Tesla has a few years on Kia, the Korean automaker is intent on bringing electric vehicles (EVs) to the public more now than ever. After their Imagine by Kia concept/presentation, it’s clear that going forward, Kia will be shifting towards clean energy vehicles and going green. Their success with their current lineup of plug-in hybrids and EVs are already proof that Kia Motors can be the automaker to do it.
A new, all-electric platform is what Kia promised. It would be the first EV vehicle from the automaker that had no predecessor. Not only this, but Kia Motors is restructuring the brand in a sense that will not only make plug-in hybrids and EVs more desirable but also make them affordable without needing to be a luxury item. It’s a goal that Alper Celik, Senior Product Manager for Kia Motors Europe had a lot to say during the 2019 Geneva Motor Show when interviewed by InsideEvs.com.
“Why are we shifting to electrics? We are doing it for the sake of a green environment and bringing this technology into the mainstream of society, not making it just a niche product. We must electrify the whole society… Kia is doing it in a more accessible way, opening up a big door to mainstream customers. What Kia does with EVs is important for the whole industry.”
Crossovers and types of alternative fuel are the future of the automarket. CUVs not only offer safety and capability, but today they also offer convenience, entertainment, and fuel efficiency. With vehicles like the new 2018 Kia Niro, a hybrid that may also be available as a PHEV in the future, it seems that automakers are combining CUVs and alternative fuel technologies to create the perfect vehicle.
Kia has several hybrid and electric vehicles in the lineup – Kia Optima Hybrid, Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), Kia Soul EV, and the all-new Kia Niro. The specs aren’t definite for the Niro PHEV, however it was debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and many were given a glimpse of what it could be capable of. Let’s take a look at the Kia Optima PHEV and see if Kia really made a crossover PHEV that can match a sedan PHEV.
Kia Optima PHEV
The third variation of the Kia Optima, the Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter GDI engine and an electric motor that is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery. This is known as a full parallel hybrid system, and its combined battery and engine power produce 202 horsepower with an amazing fuel economy – 38 miles in the city, 43 miles on the highway. That’s just the beginning of its capabilities though.’
Kia has been coming out with a lot of new vehicles lately. This year we were treated to the debut of the Kia Stinger, and at SEMA, we got a glimpse of some autonomous vehicles Kia is developing. However, until autonomous vehicles become the norm, automakers need to focus on where the money is, and right now that’s crossovers, SUVs, and hybrids. No wonder Kia has four of their own, including the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover.
SO, where did it all start? We’re thinking the Kia Optima Hybrid set the stage, a variation of the original Optima, followed by the Optima PHEV and Kia Soul EV – another variation of an original model. The 2017 Kia Niro is the most recent of the trend.
Kia Optima Hybrids
The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid and PHEV are both variations of the original Kia Optima. They may look the same and share similar characteristics, but the powertrain is much different. Starting with the Kia Optima Hybrid, a 2.0-liter I4 Full Parallel Hybrid System runs things with a 2.0-liter GDI engine with CVVT and a 38 kW motor powered by a 1.76 kWh lithium polymer battery. It may not seem like much, but the engine designs GDI and CVVT completely change the game.
“GDI” stands for gasoline direct injection, a type of fuel injection system that injects highly pressurized fuel directly into the cylinders of an engine during the combustion cycle. Due to its resulting optimization of horsepower and fuel economy, it’s starting to replace other injection systems. “CVVT”, or Continuously Variable Valve Timing, like “CVT” transmission, can alter the timing of air intake and exhaust valve lift events to suit all speeds and conditions, without losing fuel or power. Together, this leads to a total output of 193-horsepower for the Kia Optima Hybrid, with a fuel economy of 39/46 mpg city/highway.
Unlike the Kia Optima Hybrid, that relies on regenerative braking to charge the battery (a process of transferring the power used to top a vehicle (braking) into a generator for the electric motor), the Kia Optima PHEV is a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle. This means drivers can rely on regenerative braking or just charge the battery via an electrical outlet/charging station. With that comes the ability to drive on electricity-alone with zero emissions.
The Kia Optima PHEV is powered by a 156-hp 2.0-liter GDI engine and a 50 kW electric motor, powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The combined fuel economy currently sits at 40 mpg, and that’s when it is in hybrid mode. If running on electricity-alone, drivers can cover over 30 miles before needing power from the engine. It has three ways to charge the battery: regenerative braking, a Level 1 (120v) charger that receives a full charge in 9 hours, and a Level 2 (240v) charger for use at public station to charge up in less than 3 hours.