Kia will kick-start its ambitious electrification plans with the introduction of a new mild hybrid diesel model, the Sportage Ecodynamics+, which looks set to arrive with the facelifted model later this year.
The electrified five-seat SUV uses 48V architecture with a starter-generator unit. This system, which uses a 0.46kWh 48V lithium ion battery, will eventually make its way into other Kia models.
Kia says the starter-generator unit can seamlessly switch from providing up to 13bhp of assistance via a belt that drives the crankshaft to recuperating energy from engine braking.
The Korean company is yet to confirm which of the diesel engines offered in the Sportage will be mated to the mild hybrid system. 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.
Although exact details are yet to be confirmed, Kia has said that the Ecodynamics+ powertrain also permits the use of a smaller and lighter 12V battery to power the car’s ancillaries. In addition, it uses selective catalytic reduction active emissions control technology, which helps to lower its average CO2 output by 4%, according to the new WLTP tests.
After the diesel mild hybrid’s introduction, Kia will use the technology in a new mild hybrid petrol powertrain. The electrified models will be two of 16 new advanced-powertrain Kias that are due by 2025, including a Niro EV that's due later this year.
Kia’s current electrification plans will be headed by a new hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that’s due to be introduced in 2020. Although details of that car’s development have remained hidden for now, Autocar understands that it will be a standalone model with a range of around 500 miles.