Hyundai And Kia’s ‘Active Air Skirt’ Boosts Speed And Range In EVs

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Situated between the front bumper and wheels, AAS remains concealed during regular use. It activates at speeds exceeding 80kph when aerodynamic resistance surpasses air resistance, retracting at 70kph. This technology aims to decrease the drag coefficient by 2.8%, enhancing the driving range of EVs.

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation introduced their groundbreaking ‘Active Air Skirt’ (AAS) technology, designed to minimize aerodynamic resistance during high-speed driving, thereby enhancing the driving range and stability of electric vehicles (EVs). AAS strategically controls the airflow beneath the bumper, effectively managing turbulence around the vehicle wheels based on variable operation linked to the vehicle’s speed during high-speed driving.

In the fiercely competitive landscape of the EV era, where optimizing driving range is paramount, the relationship between vehicles and aerodynamics gains even greater significance. Aerodynamic performance influences power efficiency and plays a crucial role in driving stability and minimizing wind noise.

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To address these challenges, manufacturers are exploring measures to reduce the coefficient of drag (Cd), which represents the air resistance opposing the vehicle’s motion.

AAS is discreetly positioned between the front bumper and front wheels, remaining hidden during normal operation. However, it engages at speeds exceeding 80 kph when aerodynamic resistance surpasses rolling resistance and retracts at 70 kph to avoid frequent operation in specific speed ranges. This technology, designed to cover only the front part of the tires without fully encasing the front, aligns with the characteristics of Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform for EVs. This strategic choice is more effective in enhancing aerodynamic performance, especially given the flat platform floor, and contributes to improved downforce, enhancing vehicle traction and high-speed stability.

Remarkably, AAS can operate at speeds over 200 kph, thanks to the application of rubber material on the lower part, minimizing the risk of external objects splashing and ensuring durability. Testing on a Genesis GV60 demonstrated a reduction in the drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.008, equating to a 2.8% improvement in drag and an expected additional range increase of approximately 6 kilometres.

Hyundai Motor and Kia have filed related patents in South Korea and the United States, with plans to consider mass production following durability and performance tests. Sun Hyung Cho, Vice-President and Head of the Mobility Body Development Group at Hyundai Motor Group, expressed optimism about the technology’s impact, particularly on SUVs where improving aerodynamic performance poses challenges. The commitment to advancing driving performance and stability in electric vehicles through ongoing aerodynamic enhancements remains a key focus.

Additionally, Hyundai Motor and Kia deploy various technologies, including rear spoilers, active air flaps, wheel air curtains, wheel gap reducers, and separation traps, across their vehicle lineup to secure competitive drag coefficients. The Hyundai Ioniq 6, incorporating these technologies, has achieved a global leading Cd of 0.21.

 

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