As well as showcasing the new Soul EV (earlier post) and refreshed Optima Hybrid at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Kia will display a standalone exhibit of a new 48V mild hybrid technology, developed by the brand’s European R&D center for use in future Kia models.
The hybrid system consists of a 48V lead carbon battery connected to a small electric motor, increasing the engine’s power output. The battery also supplies energy to an electric supercharger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds.
Under the right conditions, the hybrid powertrain can drive a car in electric-only mode at low speeds and while cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration.
The technology also acts as a stop-start system, performing this function with almost no noise or vibration as it is a belt-starting system. The technology also enables Kia engineers to reduce the size—and weight—of its vehicles’ existing 12V battery.
PSA Peugeot Citroën says it will also introduce a 48V mild-hybrid system for gasoline and diesel engines starting in 2017. (Earlier post.) The rationale behind the development is to offer customers a vehicle that consumes significantly less fuel through the development of a technology that is accessible to the greatest number due to a lower cost.