It looks like Kia is keeping their faith in diesel. While most companies nowadays are switching to either full electric or gas-electric hybrid propulsion systems, Kia will soon be unveiling a mild hybrid diesel powertrain in 2018.
Called EcoDynamics+, the mild diesel hybrid system is aimed at reducing CO2 emissions while providing quicker acceleration with the help of electricity. With it, Kia will be able to offer clean diesel powertrains that have better mileage and less emissions.
It works via a 48V lithium-ion battery pack and mild-hybrid starter generator (MHSG). The system is also paired to Kia's Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology that reduces CO2 emissions greatly. With an inverter in play, the system can switch between 'motor' and 'generator' modes seamlessly. Connected by a belt to the diesel engine's crankshaft, the MHSG provides up to 10kw of extra power under acceleration. This, accoridng to Kia, will reduce engine load and emissions.
When in 'generator' mode, the system collects kinetic energy from the vehicle during deceleration and under braking. It then uses the power to recharge the 48V battery pack. To further save on diesel, the system will even come with a stop/start function.
With the 48V battery working alongside the 12V car battery, Kia claimed that this will reduce the load on the car's auxiliary electronics. This is made possible thanks to the 48V battery's DC/DC converter that enables it to connect to vehicle's on-board power supply.
Also worth noting is the system's compact size, which will enable Kia to install it on existing architectures and platforms. Depending on the vehicle, the 48V battery will be placed beneath the floor to preserve interior cabin and luggage space. Meanwhile, the MHSG will be integrated directly with engine, reducing the need to modify the engine bay or its components.
EcoDynamics+ will be first applied on the refreshed Kia Sportage which is set to make its official debut some time this year. The other car that will be available with the mild diesel hybrid system will be the third-generation Ceed. It will be the second among the range of Kia models to offer the new powertrain from 2019. Beyond that, the company also stated that EcoDynamics+ will be available in both manual and automatic versions of any Kia model in the future.