Hyundai and Kia have introduced Active Air Skirt (AAS) technology. This innovative system minimizes aerodynamic resistance. This results in enhanced driving range and stability of electric vehicles during high-speed driving. AAS technology controls the turbulence generated during high-speed driving by operating variably depending on the vehicle’s speed.
Aerodynamic Performance Plays a Role in EV Driving Range
In the EV world there’s intense competition to attain an enhanced driving range from a single charge. This heightened rivalry underscores the growing significance of the relationship between vehicles and aerodynamics. Additionally, aerodynamic performance plays a crucial role, influencing not just power performance but also impacting driving stability and wind noise. Manufacturers are actively exploring various ways to diminish the coefficient of drag (Cd). In addressing this, they are adopting strategies to enhance aerodynamic efficiency.
What is Active Air Skirt Technology?
What is AAS exactly? Well, it’s a technology that manages the airflow entering the lower part of the bumper. It efficiently regulates the turbulence generated around the vehicle wheels. It operates variably based on the vehicle speed during high-speed driving. AAS is situated between the front bumper and the front wheels of the vehicle. It remains concealed during regular operation but engages when the vehicle reaches speeds exceeding 50 mph (approximately). This is a point at which aerodynamic resistance surpasses rolling resistance. It retracts again once the speed drops to around 43 mph. This distinction in deployment and storage speeds aims to prevent frequent operation within specific speed ranges.
Works at High Speeds
Furthermore, AAS can function at speeds exceeding 124 mph. This ability is achieved using rubber material on the lower part. This effectively minimizes the risk of external objects splashing and causing damage during high-speed driving. The incorporation of this material also enhances the overall durability of the system. It’s worth noting that AAS only covers the front part of the tires, leaving the remainder of the front uncovered for a reason. This design choice is associated with the characteristics of Hyundai’s E-GMP platform for EVs. The decision to focus on the tire section is based on the platform’s flat floor, as it proves more effective in enhancing aerodynamic performance. This design also serves to boost the vehicle’s downforce, which improves traction and high-speed stability.
Big Benefits for SUVs
Hyundai and Kia say that testing of AAS on a Genesis GV60 showed a reduction of the drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.008. This is a 2.8 percent enhancement in drag. This translates to a potential additional range improvement of approximately 3.7 miles. “This technology is expected to have a greater effect on models such as SUVs where it is difficult to improve aerodynamic performance,” said Sun Hyung Cho, Vice President and Head of Mobility Body Development Group at Hyundai Motor Group. “We will continue to strive to improve the driving performance and stability of electric vehicles through improvements in aerodynamics.”
Hyundai and Kia have applied for related patents in South Korea and the United States. The plan is to consider mass production after durability and performance tests. In the meantime, Hyundai and Kia are incorporating a range of technologies, including rear spoilers, active air flaps, wheel air curtains, wheel gap reducers, and separation traps, into their vehicles to ensure competitive drag coefficients. The Hyundai IONIQ 6, which integrates these technologies, has attained a global-leading Cd of 0.21.