Breaking Through the Air: Hyundai and Kia's Innovative Active Air Skirt for Enhanced Electric Vehicle Performance

 Breaking Through the Air: Hyundai and Kia's Innovative Active Air Skirt for Enhanced Electric Vehicle Performance banner

In the dynamic world of electric vehicles (EVs), Hyundai and Kia are at the forefront of innovation, pushing the boundaries of aerodynamics with their latest creation—the Active Air Skirt (AAS). This groundbreaking device, recently patented by the automotive giants, promises to extend the range of electric vehicles by enhancing their aerodynamic efficiency and stability.

The Active Air Skirt Unveiled

Designed to reduce under-vehicle turbulence and improve aerodynamic efficiency at speeds above 80 km/h, the AAS is a sophisticated system that utilizes a pair of hidden moving flaps. These flaps, concealed beneath the car's front bumper, strategically cover the front tires based on the vehicle's speed. When the car accelerates, the flaps extend to streamline airflow, reducing resistance and enhancing stability.

The AAS, a feature exclusive to vehicles built on the Hyundai/Kia Electric Global Modular Platform (EGMP), is a testament to the companies' commitment to electric vehicle capability. This innovative floor design, utilized in models such as the Genesis GV60, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, and the Kia EV5 and EV6, offers a flat surface that efficiently controls airflow.

How Does It Work?

The AAS operates at speeds of 80 km/h or above, ensuring optimal efficiency. However, the flaps won't retract until the vehicle's speed drops to 70 km/h. This strategic approach minimizes the frequent opening and closing of the flaps and ensures a seamless transition in response to changing speeds.

The benefits of the AAS are not just limited to improved aerodynamics. Hyundai and Kia report a remarkable 2.8 percent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, translating to a significant boost in electric battery range. Tests conducted on the Genesis GV60, for instance, demonstrated an additional six kilometers to the vehicle's official 466 km range.

Beyond Range Enhancement: High-Performance Driving

While the primary focus of the AAS is energy efficiency and extended range, it also proves valuable for high-performance driving. The system, functional up to speeds of 200 km/h, contributes to increased downforce—a force that pushes the car down, improving traction. This enhancement in downforce translates to faster cornering speeds and heightened stability at higher velocities.

Moreover, the AAS plays a role in reducing wind noise, a critical consideration for electric vehicles known for their quiet operation. The lack of engine noise makes effective wind noise control even more essential, and the AAS addresses this aspect, contributing to a more enjoyable and serene driving experience.

Looking Ahead: A Glimpse into Future Aerodynamics

The Active Air Skirt is just one facet of Hyundai and Kia's broader exploration into aerodynamics. The companies are actively experimenting with other innovations, including air flaps, wheel air curtains, and wheel gap reducers, as part of their commitment to advancing electric vehicle technology.

As Hyundai has already announced plans to introduce the electric Ioniq 5 as the foundation for its one-make racing series in 2024, the impact of these aerodynamic advancements is likely to extend beyond the road, influencing the future of electric vehicle racing.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of electric mobility, Hyundai and Kia's Active Air Skirt stands out as a testament to the continuous pursuit of efficiency, range, and performance in the world of electric vehicles. As these innovations pave the way for the future, drivers can anticipate a more efficient and exhilarating electric driving experience.

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