Kia to introduce 48v hybrid tech to diesel engines

Kia to introduce diesel-hybrid powertrain later this year

Kia to introduce diesel-hybrid powertrain later this year

Kia has jumped on the mild-hybrid bandwagon, announcing the imminent arrival of a diesel powertrain with a 48-volt electric assistance motor. Unlike a fully electric vehicle, Kia's mild-hybrid powertrain does not require plug-in recharging. Kia's new 'EcoDynamics+' powertrain reduces emissions by supplementing the diesel engine with a electric-powered generator that is powered by a 48-volt battery.

Kia says the system can switch between two modes, called "motor" and "generator".

Mild hybrid drivetrains are becoming an increasingly popular choice for carmakers due to the relative cost effectiveness and ease of integration when compared to a full hybrid system, which require much larger battery packs and ancillary hardware. The company claims thats integrating the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid system into the existing architecture "is relatively straightforward".

The Korean auto maker has confirmed a new 48-volt battery with starter generator unit will feature on vehicles in Europe from this year, beginning with the Sportage SUV.

Kia says the new powertrain makes it the first manufacturer to offer mild-hybrid, conventional hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, with a fuel-cell electric vehicle set to follow in 2020. The powertrain will also be adapted for use in petrol engines in future.

While some automakers have started ditching oil burners completely, others, such as Kia, continue to invest in new technology that helps diesels improve fuel economy and emit less CO2.

The powertrain has been engineered to deliver greater efficiency from internal combustion engines on the road, by using electric power delivered and recuperated seamlessly.

Controlled by an advanced ECU, the powertrain benefits from a new "Moving Stop & Start" function. During in-gear deceleration and braking, the engine will shut down and the hybrid system will kick things back into life if the throttle pedal is pressed.

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