New Delhi: Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation on Wednesday revealed new details of their heat pump system, deployed in the automakers’ global electric vehicle (EV) line-up to maximize their all-electric driving range in low temperatures.
The technology was first introduced in 2014 on the first-generation Kia Soul EV. Comprising a compressor, evaporator and condenser, the heat pump captured waste heat given off by the vehicle’s electrical components, recycling this energy to heat the cabin more efficiently.
As per the release, the new system scavenges waste heat from an increased number of sources for optimum cold-weather EV range. It now harvests more energy by recycling additional waste heat not only from power electrics (PE) modules (such as drive motors, on-board chargers, and inverters), but also from the battery pack and slow charger.
A water-cooling system for Hyundai and Kia’s EV battery packs, rather than conventional air cooling, have yielded further increases in range. 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.
The companies claim that the latest EVs from Hyundai and Kia offer around twice as much driving range and battery capacity compared to their first-generation EVs – and are capable of travelling significantly further on a single charge.
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 travelling up to 386km on a single charge.
Under its ‘Strategy 2025’ plan, Hyundai Motor aims to sell 670,000 battery EVs and FCEVs (fuel cell electric vehicles) annually and become a top-three EV manufacturer by 2025. Kia’s mid- to long-term strategy, dubbed ‘Plan S’, will see the brand’s line-up grow to 11 EVs over the same timeframe.