Car makers are constantly trying these days to eke out the last remnants of life out of the internal combustion engine before consigning them to the history books. One of the latest tricks is to add a small battery to the whole thing, turning a regular ICE into something that is called a mild-hybrid system. Many have done this with petrol units, now Kia wants to try it with diesel.
Kia calls their mild-hybrid diesel the ‘EcoDynamics+’ powertrain and they will be putting it first in a version of the Sportage later this year, followed by the Ceed in 2019. The system features a 0.46 kWh 48-volt lithium-ion battery and a new Mild-Hybrid Starter-Generator (MHSG) that works both ways in that it helps reducing the diesel’s already excellent fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and it gives better acceleration to the car by supplementing the engine’s output. Kia makes the case for the mild-hybrid by reminding people that “no plug-in recharging required” with this powertrain.
The diesel unit is an innovative solution to keep this fuel relevant for a few more years. The EcoDynamics+ system comes with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) active emissions control technology to ensure cleaner operation. The mild-hybrid powertrains – yes, there is more coming with petrol engine as well as diesel – are the base of Kia’s electrification ambitions. Kia plans to launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025, including five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles and a new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.