Posts Tagged ‘mild-hybrid’
Kia Motors is working on a lot of different things as the automaker comes swinging back after pausing production during what could have been called a global lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. Looking to produce all sorts of new vehicles, like purpose-built vehicles, new sedans, and maybe even micro electric vehicles (EVs), the automaker is getting busy with new concepts and ideas. Nevertheless, Kia Motors still has a strong lineup, and the 2021 Kia Rio was recently revealed, showing off a new fresh style and a mild-hybrid powertrain. Could this be the diesel 48v mild-hybrid powertrain discussed back in May 2018?
It’s been some time since we heard about the diesel 48v mild-hybrid powertrain. Also known as the EcoDynamics+ powertrain, Kia Motors was supposed to put this into the Kia Sportage but it doesn’t seem like the powertrain made it into the model. We thought the idea was scrapped, but the news about the new Kia Rio coming with a mild-hybrid powertrain definitely shines some hope on more hybrid options coming to the Kia Motors lineup, as well as sedans.
Kia Motors is an automotive brand that will soon become a household name. Throughout 2018, Kia developed an array of interesting technology for the automotive industry, and it seems 2019 will be no different. Already set to debut at the upcoming 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Kia Motors will be previewing another collection of technology aimed at serving the generation of drivers in autonomous vehicles. This may be a bit unorthodox, seeing as how the industry of self-driving vehicles is still in its infancy stage, and Kia could be getting ahead of things…but maybe that’s a good thing.
Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving (R.E.A.D.)
The technology popping up at the 2019 CES is for the post-autonomous driving generation. This system, R.E.A.D. is designed to enhance the human mobility experience by optimizing and personalizing the in-car cabin experience. Developed through a joint research alliance with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s Affective Computing group, the R.E.A.D. System is the first of its kind, capable of changing the vehicle’s cabin space based on evaluations of the driver’s emotional state in real-time via artificial intelligence-based bio-signal recognition technology. This may also share some similar features to the technology seen in early Kia Telluride concepts.
Kia Motors has been doing exceptionally well as of late. With sale numbers on the rise and many vehicles being awarded every week, the auto industry may soon have a new set of standards to meet. Recently, Kia Motors was named as the most highly safety rated brand by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), with eight models in total receiving either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick + rating. A new mild-hybrid powertrain system is going to be released later into 2018 for the 2018 Kia Sportage, known as EcoDynamics. And now, the Kia Rio has won two awards from Auto Trader during the New Car Awards 2018.
Auto Trader New Car Awards and Kia Rio
During the Auto Trader New Car Awards, a survey of more than 43,000 car owners, all of which help owners rate their car in 16 key areas, collect answers and feedback that is then analyzed to make up a score. The score would tell Auto Trader which model car buyers had found most satisfying to own. For these awards, the new Kia Rio came out on top for a total of two awards.
With a starting MSRP of $13,900* and a price range that barely scratches past $20k, the 2018 Kia Rio is as affordable as it is fun, available with UVO eServices on a 7-inch touchscreen and six speaker sound system. Moreover, for the “Best Value New Car”, the Kia Rio was commended for its low running costs and equipment available at affordable prices. The editors themselves commented on why the Kia Rio received the award.
“It’s important to stress that ‘value’ doesn’t mean ‘cheap’, and there are plenty of similar cars out there that cost less than the Rio. What the Rio gives you, though, is a vast amount of ability for a very affordable outlay, and most of the time, that’s far more appealing to buyers than a bargain-basement price tag. It’s good to drive, practical, nice inside, well equipped and comes with a fantastic warranty to make owning it even better value.” – Ivan Aistrop, Auto Trader’s Road Test Editor.
Last week, we took a little dive into the new diesel 48v mild-hybrid powertrain system by Kia Motors. Like how the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group made the eTorque system, the new mild-hybrid by Kia Motors can provide hybrid functionalities while not completely crossing over into the hybrid setup. Known as the EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid system, the new powertrain has a main focus on emissions control and fuel efficiency. The secondary focus is on the practicality of the new mild-hybrid powertrain that, just like any other hybrid, can fit seamlessly into a consumer’s life, without needing to plug-in or worry about recharging.
EcoDynamics Diesel Mild-Hybrid Powertrain
A little recap – the new 48V mild-hybrid powertrain is the first new technology to be launched as part of Kia Motors’ powertrain electrification strategy. In an effort to launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, Kia Motors intends to offer cleaner diesel engines. The EcoDynamics+ diesel mild-hybrid powertrain (referred to as EcoDynamics+ for short from here throughout) will enable Kia Motors to do just that. To begin the new roll-out of diesel mild-hybrid technology into possibly the entire fleet of Kia Motors vehicles, the 2018 Kia Sportage will receive the option to opt-in for the EcoDynamics+ powertrain in late 2018.
There are two modes that the EcoDynamics+ powertrain can make use of, known as “motor” and “generator”. These two modes rely on Kia’s mild-hybrid technology, made up of a compact 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG). In “motor” mode, engine load and emissions are reduced, and up to 10kW of electric power assistance are added to the powertrain via the MHSG during acceleration. In “generator” mode, kinetic energy is harvested from the vehicle via regenerative braking – the process of recycling the energy used to bring the car to a stop as power to recharge the battery.
Kia Motors is really killing the alternative fuel vehicle scene. Nearly every time they make it big with a vehicle from their lineup, they turn it into a hybrid, then a plug-in, and if they’re really looking to push the envelope, then an electric vehicle. They followed that pattern with the Kia Niro, currently in production for an all-electric variant, the Kia Niro EV. To follow up, Kia is looking into other forms of fuel, and with the Fiat Chrysler Automobile Group (FCA) having recently designed and produced the eTorque system, Kia Motors will not be outdone. Hence, they’re about to launch their own mild-hybrid powertrain in 2018.
The eTorque system is a new mid-hybrid system from the FCA that is currently placed in the new 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and the 2019 Ram 1500 pickup truck. The eTorque system is called a “mid-hybrid” system because it offers hybrid capabilities, such as auto stop/start, electric power assist, extended fuel shut-off, transmission shift management, intelligent battery charging, and regenerative braking. Like all hybrid systems, it also has an electric feature to it that can replace various car components.
When it comes to the 2019 Ram 1500, the eTorque system is able to deliver its own electricity to the truck, nullifying the need for an alternator, and is able to keep the Ram 1500’s original 12-volt battery charged as well as perform its hybrid functions. In addition, the eTorque system is actually a 48-volt system that can convert 12 volts into 48 without a prolific sweat. Kia Motors seems to be aiming for something similar if not the same.
Kia Motors Mild-Hybrid Powertrain
The full name for this new mild-hybrid powertrain from Kia Motors is actually “diesel 48v mild-hybrid powertrain.” Can you already see the similarities? This year, 2018, Kia Motors will be introducing its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain, called a new ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain that will reduce CO2 emissions by supplementing acceleration with electric power from an additional 48-volt battery and extending combustion engine ‘off time’ using a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator unit. Yep, lots of similarities there, but we won’t fault Kia for getting in on the ground floor with what can easily become a revolutionary component for vehicles in the next few years (or decades, it’s anyone’s guess).