Kia to launch 48V mild hybrid diesel

Kia to launch 48V mild hybrid diesel

Kia is set to introduce its first 48V diesel mild-hybrid powertrain sometime in the second half of this year.

The system uses a mild-hybrid starter/generator (MHSG) unit which replaces the standard alternator found in 12V vehicles.

Connected by a belt to the diesel engine's crankshaft, the system offers two modes of operation, motor and generator, switching being electronically controlled.

Combining a turbo-diesel engine with a 48V electric motor, Kia says the mild-hybrid setup "provides electric power and reduces engine load under acceleration", while also recuperating energy during in-gear deceleration and braking.

The diesel mild-hybrid powertrain will enable Kia to offer cleaner diesel engines. The options are 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre units; the latter is more likely to be offered with the boost, in order to create a higher-ranking powertrain.

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The system makes its debut in the Sportage later this year but will later find a home in the all-new third-generation Kia Ceed and other Kia models from 2019.

The battery recovers energy from the diesel engine's crankshaft when the auto is decelerating or driving downhill. Battery power can also be used to provide a new Moving Stop & Start function.

Full prices and specs for vehicles fitted with the new powertrain are yet to be confirmed. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during deceleration and braking. The MHSG can then seamlessly re-ignite the engine - in any situation - if the driver presses the throttle pedal.

Kia's EcoDynamics+ system is compatible with manual and automatic transmissions, and can be adapted to front-, rear- and all-wheel drive layouts.

Kia say the big plus for the new 48V system is that it's so compact it can be easily integrated in to existing vehicle architecture (it's heading for Kia's petrol engines too) without the need to reconfigure the engine bay or lose space to a big battery.

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