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Kia to launch new diesel 48V mild-hybrid powertrain in 2018

Kia to launch new diesel 48V mild-hybrid powertrain in 2018

According to its creators the mild-hybrid technology offers advantages over full hybrid units, particularly in the performance generated for the cost.

Following the launch of the Sportage mild-hybrid model the forthcoming third-generation Kia Ceed will also be offered with the technology.

The EcoDynamics+ powertrain reduces Carbon dioxide 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. The latter is connected to the diesel engine's crankshaft by a belt, and under acceleration, it provides up to 10kW (14PS / 13hp) of extra power.

Kia is preparing to electrify its Sportage with the introduction of a 48V mild-hybrid version of the SUV set to be launched later this year. The system will be available on the new Kia Sportage SUV. In "motor" mode, under acceleration, it uses battery charge to add torque to the engine to aid acceleration.

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When decelerating, an inverter switches the current of the motor, effectively turning it into a generator to top up the 0.46kWh battery. Under deceleration, or when driving downhill or coasting towards a stop light, the MHSG switches to "generator" mode, recuperating energy from the crankshaft to recharge the battery. 48-volt battery and portsystem work together with DC / DC Converter. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during deceleration and braking. The MHSG can then seamlessly re-ignite the engine - in any situation - if the driver presses the throttle pedal. Kia will use the tech to reduce the emissions of its diesel line-up by a claimed four per cent over the WLTP cycle.

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 adoption of the MHSG also means the conventional starter motor can be downsized and used primarily for cold starts at low temperatures.

Kia says the system can be adapted for front, rear and four-wheel drive vehicles, and will also be adapted for use with petrol engines.

Kia will announce more detailed plans for the roll-out of its new mild-hybrid technology later this year.