Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 - Kia Motors
  • New mild hybrid powertrain combines zero-emissions urban motoring with an electric supercharger for greater performance
  • Engineered to reduce diesel and gasoline emissions by up to 15 percent
  • New powertrain will be available on next-generation Kia models

Geneva, March 4, 2014 – Kia revealed its all-new mild hybrid powertrain today at the Geneva Motor Show. The powertrain – part of a future technologies exhibit on Kia’s show stand – is designed to simultaneously reduce emissions and improve engine performance in Kia’s next-generation models.

Developed by Kia’s European R&D centre, the new hybrid system employs a 48V lead-carbon battery, which powers a small electric motor to increase the engine’s power output and cut exhaust emissions. The development team behind the mild hybrid powertrain selected lead-carbon batteries over lithium-ion equivalents as they require no active cooling, are more easily recyclable at the end of the vehicle’s life and can function much more efficiently in sub-zero temperatures.

Kia’s mild hybrid system will enable a car to be driven in an electric-only mode at low speeds and when cruising, while the battery is recharged under deceleration at all speeds. In heavy traffic and on urban roads, the powertrain will also feature a zero-emissions stop-start system. Using a belt-driven starter generator – replacing the conventional alternator – the engine is able to restart with almost no noise or vibration.

The battery also supplies energy to an electric supercharger, which increases torque and power at low engine speeds. Engineers behind the development of the powertrain see the electric supercharger supporting a larger conventional turbocharger, which would seamlessly take over to provide greater power and torque as engine speeds rise. The new hybrid system could also be fitted without the electric supercharger for a simpler powertrain layout in smaller models.

In applying the technology to production cars, Kia engineers are targeting reductions in CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, while the electric supercharger is designed to deliver power increases of 15 to 20 percent depending on its application.

The new powertrain would also allow vehicle development engineers to reduce the size of a vehicle’s existing battery and starter motor.

The new mild hybrid powertrain will be available on new diesel and gasoline production cars from Kia in the near future.

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Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.
Kevin Hepworth
P: 02-9701-1734
M: 0412-210-313

Alyson MacDonald

P: 02-9701-1768
M: 0411-244-676


Kia Future Powertrain Technologies, Kia’s European R&D centre, New Kia hybrid system, Kia motors, Geneva Motor Show, Kia technologies, Kia’s next-generation models



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