It will only have taken little exposure for us to be convinced that 48-volt mild-hybrid technology is the way to go. The system’s components are affordable, compact and in many ways can be retrofitted to existing cars. This is a far cry from cumbersome, heavy and often disappointing plug-in hybrid technology, and for but a marginal improvement in efficiency.
Kia will launch its first 48-volt diesel mild-hybrid powertrain in the next few months. Referred to as EcoDynamics, the Sportage will be the first to fitted with the system. The cost-to-performance ratio crushes that of all hybrids as it will not only reduce CO2 emissions, it will lower fuel consumption, provide electric power assistance and allow the engine to remain “off” for longer periods of time. Combine that with the known efficiency of the diesel engine and we have an impressive “green” package.
Kia intends to launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by 2025 (five new hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five battery-electric vehicles) however we do not know which will come to our shores. We do know that this 48-volt diesel mild-hybrid Sportage will not.