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More Hyundai And Kia EVs Set To Get Heat Pump Technology For Improved Range


The heat pump technology made its debut on the Kia Soul EV in 2014

 

ZW-Kia-Soul-EV-1
  • The heat pump system consists of a condenser, evaporator and compressor.
  • It recycles waste heat and directs it into the car’s air conditioning unit.
  • Battery pack technology with water cooling system ensures tighter packing.
  • Kia to bring 11 new EVs under its Plan S strategy.

Electric cars, though eco-friendly and zippy, have some limitations. Amongst them is battery discharge during extreme conditions which affects the life of the battery pack and the driving range. To counter it, Hyundai and Kia electric cars come with heat pump technology which maximizes range in colder conditions.   

The heat pump technology was first introduced in the Kia Soul EV back in 2014. It comprises a condenser, evaporator and compressor. This system collects the waste heat generated by critical components and utilises it to heat the cabin. Hyundai says this technology has helped it improve the efficiency of the heater system while keeping the range unaffected. In fact, the Norwegian Automotive Federation proved that a Hyundai Kona Electric fitted with the larger 64kWh battery pack and heat pump system managed to cover 405km in cold conditions. That’s just 44km (9 per cent) short of its WLTP claimed range of 449km.  

Apart from the heat pump system, the battery pack also comes with improvements for maximising driving range. For starters, it utilises a water cooling system which occupies minimum space and results in tighter packaging of the battery pack. This means more capacity in a smaller dimension. In fact, the current-gen Soul EV’s larger 64kWh battery pack has similar dimensions as the first-gen model’s 30kWh battery pack.  

The South Korean carmaker says it will keep on honing the heat pump technology before making its way into future EVs. Meanwhile, Kia Motors has been formulating plans to launch 11 new EVs by 2025 under its Plan S strategy while Hyundai is aiming to sell 6,70,000 EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles in the same period.

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