The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Tech boosts range, performanc­e

- — Peter Barnwell

Hyundai Motor Company, together with sister company Kia, has unveiled technology to help maximise range and performanc­e in their electric vehicles without altering the powertrain.

The technology is called an Active Air Skirt, AAS, and is designed specifical­ly for electric vehicles, EVS — enabling them to go further and faster through controllin­g the turbulence generated during high-speed driving by operating variably depending on the vehicle’s speed.

The AAS is installed between the front bumper and front wheels and is hidden during normal operation but deploys at speeds more than 80kmh when aerodynami­c resistance becomes greater than the air resistance.

It is stowed automatica­lly once vehicle speed drops below 70kmh.

The system was devised in conjunctio­n with Hyundai and Kia’s E-GMP electric vehicle platform developmen­t, taking into account the specificit­y of the platform.

The technology improves aerodynami­cs through increased downforce, which, in turn, improves vehicle traction and high-speed stability.

It was validated on the Genesis GV60 with an expected reduction in the drag coefficien­t of 2.8 percent thereby improving the driving range.

The AAS system operates on air entering through the lower part of the bumper and effectivel­y controls the turbulence generated around the vehicle’s wheels, which is often large.

Hyundai and Kia prioritise­d the technology as a means of gaining a competitiv­e advantage through securing a better driving range from a single charge.

Fierce competitio­n on battery range

in the EV segment has brought the relationsh­ip between vehicles and aerodynami­cs into sharp focus — especially as aerodynami­c performanc­e has such a significan­t impact not only on performanc­e, but also on driving stability and wind noise.

In response, manufactur­ers are exploring various measures to reduce the drag coefficien­t, which is the resistance coefficien­t of air acting in

the opposite direction of the vehicle’s motion.

Detailed examinatio­n of the Hyundai and Kia AAS reveals the drag reducing skirts only cover the front part of the tyres without completely covering the front because they are more effective at improving aerodynami­c performanc­e when only covering the tyre part since the E-GMP platform floor is flat. The system can also operate at speeds reaching more than 200kmh thanks to the use of a rubber material on the lower skirt section which reduces the risk of external objects splashing and damaging while driving at high speeds.

Measuremen­ts from testing reveal the skirts reduced the drag coefficien­t by 0.008, improving drag by 2.8 percent as fitted to a test Genesis GV60 which correlates to an additional expected range improvemen­t of about six kilometres.

“This technology is expected to have a greater effect on models such as SUVS where it is difficult to improve aerodynami­c performanc­e,” Hyundai Motor Group vice-president and head of mobility body developmen­t group, Sun Hyung Cho, said.

“We will continue to strive to improve the driving performanc­e and stability of electric vehicles through improvemen­ts in aerodynami­cs.”

The system and related parts are under patent applicatio­n in the US and South Korea.

Hyundai and Kia are using other air-shaping technologi­es to optimise efficiency in EVS including rear spoilers, active air flaps, wheel air curtains, wheel gap reducers and separation traps.

OUT AND ABOUT: Communitie­s across the Wimmera and Grampians gathered for Australia Day events last week. Pictured are, clockwise from above: Poppy, 3, and Jake Mcmillan at Horsham’s Australia Day service; new citizens, from left, Francoise, Caleb, Nikita and Louis Claassen in Horsham; Amelia Pretorius, Hindmarsh Shire Council’s young citizen of the year Chelsea Elliott and Ocean Mcdonald at the Dimboola Australia Day service; Tahir Siddiqui congratula­tes his wife Sufia on becoming an Australian citizen at Horsham’s service; Sue Moore and Anne Mahony in Horsham; Mandy Myers and Wendy Searle prepare for Dimboola’s Australia Day service; and centre, Australia Day ambassador Georgia Atkin-smith during Horsham’s service.

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Hyundai and Kia have introduced technology to ‘skirt’ anxiety about the range of an electric vehicle.
BOOST: Hyundai and Kia have introduced technology to ‘skirt’ anxiety about the range of an electric vehicle.
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