Among the vehicles Kia brings to the Paris Motor Show will be the Kia Optima T-Hybrid concept, the first demonstration of Kia’s new diesel-electric mild hybrid technology. Kia is targeting a reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 15-20% with the new powertrain, which is still under development. The current Kia Optima 1.7 CRDi has a combined CO2 emissions of 128 grams per kilometer (with manual transmission and EcoDynamics equipment).
The T-Hybrid is equipped with the regular 1.7-liter turbo diesel in the Kia Optima, combined with a small electric motor fed by a 48V lead-carbon battery. The Kia Optima T-Hybrid is able to run on electricity alone at low and constant speeds. Regenerative braking recharges the battery.
Kia said it opted for the lead-carbon battery system Kia because it does not require active cooling—as opposed to a lithium-ion battery—and is easier to recycle at the end of the life cycle.
The study is equipped with a start-stop system and belt-driven starter generator (which replaces the conventional alternator). The system also allows for the integration of an electric compressor in addition to conventional turbochargers. This compressor increases the torque of the engine at low engine speeds, and bridges turbo lag.
Kia said it is considering equipping future new Kia models with the T-Hybrid system.