At Hyundai Mobis Proving
Ground in Sweden, just an hour’s drive away from the Article Circle, Hyundai
Motor Company subjects its latest electrified vehicles to the most extreme
sub-zero conditions. Rigorous testing ensures winter-proved operation of
Hyundai’s electrified vehicles in temperatures as low as -35°C.
Extreme cold can adversely
affect various functions of electrified vehicles, such as the ability to start
the vehicle, manage thermal control of the electric powertrain, heating and
ventilation and maximize the drive range.
Hyundai’s two prominent
electrified vehicles, Hyundai Nexo fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) and
All-New Kona Electric, spearheaded the Hyundai’s winter test.
The previous generations of
FCEV faced a significant technical challenge to be started in temperatures
within -10° to -20° C. In order to overcome the technical challenge, the
Hyundai engineers designed a new component to heat up the fuel cell stack of
the Hyundai Nexo in sub-zero conditions. Thanks to this clever thermal
management strategy, the Hyundai Nexo can be started at -30° C, which is on par
with any other types of internal combustion engine powered vehicles.
The other technical challenge
typically found with FCEVs is ice formation within the fuel cell stack after
the vehicle is turned off, as water is the only by product of electricity
generation through hydrogen. Utilising a blower system attached to the fuel
cell stack, when it is turned off, the Hyundai Nexo removes water before it
The key objective of the winter
test for a battery electric vehicle is to achieve the most efficient usage of
electricity. In order to maximize the drive range, the Kona Electric
incorporates clever engineering solutions to minimize electricity used for
heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC).
The HVAC technologies
highlighted in the Kona Electric are a highly efficient new heat pump, smart
air intake control, individual ventilation (for driver only) and a
pre-conditioning ventilation system.
The Kona Electric’s heat pump
system harnesses wasted heat emitted by electrical components and recycles it
to increase the efficiency of the heating and ventilation systems. By
minimizing electricity consumption from the battery, the heat pump contributes
to the overall driving range of the Kona Electric in winter.
The smart air intake control
system featured on the Kona Electric recycles heated air by controlling the amount of air entering and
exiting the vehicle. By better controlling the air flow inside the vehicle, the
HVAC system is able to heat the cabin more efficiently, thereby minimizing the
amount of heating used during winter driving.
The individual ventilation
system of the Kona Electric completely shuts off heating and ventilation to the
foot-well and dashboard ventilation on the passenger side when driving alone.
The system is activated by a ‘driver only’ button on the dashboard.
When plugged in, the
pre-conditioning ventilation system allows the Kona Electric to be pre-heated,
utilising electricity from the grid before the car is driven. Customers can
schedule to pre-heat or pre-cool the cabin of their vehicles before driving.
At the apex of Hyundai’s
eco-friendly vehicle line-up, Hyundai’s first dedicated hydrogen-powered SUV,
the Hyundai Nexo boasts the best range within the fuel cell and EV car
segments, delivering an estimated 800 km from a single charge (under NEDC
Featuring two different
battery capacity options, the long-range version Kona Electric with a 64 kWh
battery pack is going to deliver up to 482 km of drive range on a single
charge, whilst the basic version with a 39.2 kWh battery pack is going to
deliver up to 312 km (under WLTP regulations).
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