Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have today revealed new details of their innovative heat pump system. It deployed in Hyundai and Kia’s global electric vehicle (EV) line-up to maximize their all-electric driving range in low temperatures. 

Let’s Talk Heat Pump

First of all, Hyundai and Kia’s heat pump. For it is a leading heat management innovation. I mean it maximizes the distance that Hyundai and Kia EVs can travel. All on a single charge.

Because scavenging waste heat to warm the cabin is the schmove. For it enables EV drivers to heat their car’s cabin in cold weather without affecting range. Yes on some EVs it can significantly impact electric driving range. I mean unlike other EVs.

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So the technology was first introduced in 2014 on the first-generation Kia Soul EV.

So when I test drove that I wrote:

Now this was a fun test. I mean what a superior electric car. KIA is making real in roads for all electric cars. Nissan Leaf better watch out!?

For starters, in ECO mode for the car it goes well over 140 miles. No questions asked. When including regenerative braking, the overall efficiency of its electric motor. Nevertheless, the lithium batteries pack a punch.

As Kia riffs on their website:

Meet the eco-friendliest addition to the Soul family: the 2018 Soul EV. It’s the same Soul style standard with a DC Fast Charge port, an estimated driving range of 0-111 miles*, and 210 lb.-ft. of instant torque. The same advanced in-car technology now fully charged with energy-smart innovations, like bio-based cabin materials and the UVO eco connectivity system.

Charge ahead in one powerfully-efficient, zero-emissions ride. 

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In many ways this is a great tough ride for an electric car. The 2015 KIA Motors Soul all electric car had a 135-140 mile range when you include all the regenerative braking. This electric car didn’t make a person feel less confident in its performance. In fact, this electric car surpassed all expectations.

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As reported from about the energy density of the EV it’s a powerful pack.

The Kia Soul EV is equipped with an advanced power pack featuring lithium-ion polymer battery cells. The pack has a class-leading energy density of 200 Wh/kg. It is the result of a three-year joint development program between Kia Motors Corporation and SK Innovation in Korea.

Engineers from Kia have developed the outstanding power pack featuring 192 lithium-ion polymer battery cells in eight modules. Thereby delivering a total power output of 27 kWh. The pack also incorporates state-of-the-art thermal control technology. All to maintain individual cells at optimum temperature and structural design. You know folks, to enhance crash worthiness.

Comprising a compressor, evaporator and condenser. Also the heat pump captured waste heat given off by the vehicle’s electrical components. It then also recycles this energy. All to heat the cabin more efficiently. 

In addition, the industry-leading heat pump system has now been developed further. All for new EVs from Hyundai and Kia.

As a result, the new system scavenges waste heat. All from an increased number of sources for optimum cold-weather EV range.

These innovations mean that Hyundai and Kia EVs offer more.

That’s more on consistent range in temperatures. Where other EVs start to see a significant decline during the winter. Especially in the distance possible from a single charge.

It’s equipped with the latest heat pump technology. So the Kona Electric proved this in a recent test in Norway. Which is the most advanced EV market in the world.

Kona Electric wins Norwegian real-range validation test

The Norwegian Automotive Federation (NAF) recently compared 20 EVs in cold and warm weather conditions. Consequently to identify models with the most consistent driving range and charging performance. The test monitored the performance deviation of each vehicle. All in cold conditions compared to quoted manufacturer figures.

The Kona Electric took first place, traveling 405km in the cold. Compared to the 449km quoted under WLTP combined cycle testing conditions (23°C / 73°F). In severe cold weather, the Kona Electric offered 91 percent of its WLTP combined cycle range. Thereby deviating just 9 percent from its claimed all-electric driving range.

How it works: EV cabin heating without the energy drain

Hyundai and Kia’s heat pump technology made its debut six years ago on the first-generation Kia Soul EV. Since then, the industry-leading heat pump technology has been developed further for new EVs from Hyundai and Kia. It now harvests significantly more energy by recycling additional waste heat. I mean not only from power electrics (PE) modules (such as drive motors, on-board chargers, and inverters). Yet also from the battery pack and slow charger.

The system uses the heat generated by these components to vaporize refrigerant from liquid to gas form. High-pressure gas is discharged from the compressor and forced into a condenser to be converted back into a liquid. This process generates additional heat energy that is recovered by the heat pump and used to warm the cabin.

This captured energy improves the efficiency of the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. It recycles  it to more efficiently heat up the cabin and minimize battery power consumption. By reducing the load on the battery, the heat pump cuts energy consumption from the HVAC system, maximizing the available electric driving range of the car.

Hyundai and Kia continue to develop their heat pump technology. That’s to yield even greater improvements in energy capture and efficiency.

The system has been gradually refined since its 2014 introduction through extreme cold weather testing in Northern Sweden, where temperatures can get as low as -35°C (-31°F) in the winter. By testing in extreme cold temperatures, research engineers have identified additional ways to recycle as much waste heat as possible to increase the efficiency of the heat pump system. Testing the technology in these conditions ensures the heat pump is capable of operating in even the coldest environments.

Battery pack heat management enhances EV driving range

The heat pump is one of a number of innovations found in Hyundai and Kia’s current generation of EVs, with heat management also used to realise major improvements in EV battery packs. 

A water-cooling system for Hyundai and Kia’s EV battery packs, rather than conventional air cooling, have yielded further increases in range without increasing physical dimensions. This development means battery cells in Hyundai and Kia EVs can be packaged much more tightly, with water-cooling channels taking up less space than air-cooling channels, increasing battery density by up to 35 percent.

This innovation means the latest EVs from Hyundai and Kia offer around twice as much driving range and battery capacity compared to the their first-generation EVs – and are capable of traveling significantly further on a single charge. For example, the first-generation Soul EV offered owners an electric driving range of around 180km from a single charge of its 30kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The second-generation Soul EV, with a 64kWh battery occupying a similar amount of space, is capable of traveling up to 386km on a single charge.

Korea’s Ministry of the Environment conducted a study on the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV. They drove in temperatures of -7°C (19°F) with the HVAC system activated. As a result, they found the heat pump significantly reduced battery consumption in cold conditions. They were able to maintain 90 percent of their driving range compared to journeys undertaken at an ambient 26°C (79°F). This set a new benchmark for other EVs. By contrast, many EVs offered by other manufacturers saw their total electric driving range drop. A decrease between 18 and 43 percent under the same test conditions.

Further development of heat pump technology

Hyundai and Kia continue to hone and improve the heat pump system and other heat management innovations, with the technologies currently informing the development of next-generation EVs from each brand.

Under its ‘Strategy 2025’ plan, Hyundai Motor aims to sell 670,000 battery EVs annually. The goal is to become a top-three EV manufacturer by 2025. Kia’s long-term strategy, ‘Plan S’ will grow the brand’s line-up to 11 EVs over the same timeframe.

Source: The News Market

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