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Kia Previews New Mild Hybrid System At The 2014 Geneva Auto Show

Kia are taking the time to highlight their innovations in powertrain technology with a future technologies exhibit at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Today they showed off an all-new mild hybrid powertrain, which will reduce emissions and improve performance on future models.

The powertrain was developed in Germany at Kia’s European R&D center.

Electric Hybrid System – How It Works

A 48 volt lead-carbon battery powers a small electric motor in the hybrid system. The motor is in place to increase output and reduce emissions.

Kia's new hybrid electric drivetrainThere was a reason that this particular type of battery was chosen over lithium-ion, and that is because it does not require active cooling and is much easier to recycle when the vehicle life cycle is over.

It is also a better performer in sub-zero temperatures.

The addition of the mild hybrid system will mean that a vehicle can be driven in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising. As the car decelerates, it will recharge the battery.

A zero-emission stop-start system will cut the engine when the vehicle is stuck in traffic, re-starting it when traffic starts moving.

This will all happen with almost zero noise or vibration, thanks to a belt-driven starter generator being used in place of a conventional alternator.

Increased torque and power at low engine speeds are achieved thanks to energy from the battery being sent to an electric supercharger.

Engineers believe that this supercharger could be used to support a conventional turbocharger, allowing for more power and torque as the speed of the engine increases.

It is also possible that the new hybrid system could be added to smaller models without the need for the electric supercharger.

More Power, Less CO2 Emissions

When the technology makes its way to production models, Kia estimates that they will achieve as 15% reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as seeing a 15-20% increase in power when the electric supercharger is used.

The addition of this new powertrain would mean that the size and weight of the existing battery and starter motor would be reduced.

Kia expects the new mild hybrid powertrain to make its way into production models sometime in the not too distant future.

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