EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid technology offers a greater cost-to-performance ratio compared to full hybrid powertrains.
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. Kia's new 'EcoDynamics+' powertrain reduces emissions by supplementing the diesel engine with a electric-powered generator that is powered by a 48-volt battery.
The compact nature of the technology means that integrating the EcoDynamics+ mild-hybrid system into existing vehicle architecture is relatively straightforward.
The new hybrid system will be presented in the second half of the year. In "motor" mode, under acceleration, it uses battery charge to add torque to the engine to aid acceleration. The 48 volt generator recharges the vehicle's battery when the diesel engine is running.
When decelerating, an inverter switches the current of the motor, effectively turning it into a generator to top up the 0.46kWh battery. There'll be a mode for harnessing energy released during braking to recharge the 48v battery and a "moving stop and start" function that can switch off the engine as you're slowing down, before the vehicle has come to a complete halt.
Controlled by an advanced ECU, the powertrain benefits from a new "Moving Stop & Start" function. The MHSG can then quickly restart the engine the moment the driver presses the accelerator pedal. If the battery has sufficient charge, the combustion engine turns off automatically during deceleration and braking. The adoption of the MHSG also means the conventional starter motor can be made smaller and lighter, reserved primarily for cold starts at extremely low temperatures.
The manufacturer also says that the system will have minimal impact on practicality, with the required 48V battery located beneath the boot floor.
Kia is introducing EcoDynamics+ 48V mild-hybrid diesel engines to their United Kingdom range later this year in a bid to reduce emissions.
Adding electric assistance to the Sportage's diesel engine upon take off and under partial loads, the electric motor provides 10kW of power and is said to improve overall efficiency by 4 per cent.
Details of the pricing, performance and specification of the new Kia Sportage SUV have yet to be announced.