Kia Sportage to go mild-hybrid
Looks like the South Korean automotive giant Kia Motors is starting to adopt the mild hybrid tech for its future releases. It was just announced that the next Kia Sportage crossover SUV would get a diesel-based mild hybrid drivetrain.
The vehicle is going to come equipped with a normal diesel engine, a humble 10 kW electric motor and a compact 0.46 kWh li-ion battery. Mounted onto the main engine, the primary purpose of the electric ‘add-on’ is to assist the former during moments when rapid acceleration is required. Whenever the car decelerates, the same motor acts as a power generator, recuperating some of the energy into the battery.
As long as the battery is at high charge, the vehicle will be able to shut down its main engine whenever it is not needed, resulting in 4% to 7% of additional fuel conservation.
Until now, Kia Motors had only been producing traditional hybrid cars that could be charged in a normal way. Introduction of the mild hybrid tech, however, will help the company cut the production costs considerably – especially since it can be integrated into the existing model lineup without significant re-engineering.
First mild-hybrid Kia Sportage models will reach the mass market as early as 2018. Diesel-based Kia Ceed will get the same upgrade next year, after which the tech will be carried over to the gasoline-powered models as well.
The company plans to release a total of 16 environmentally clean car models over the course of the next seven years.