Published on January 23rd, 2024 | by Subhash Nair0
Hyundai & Kia Reveal “Active Air Skirt” Tech For Improved Aerodynamics
Active Air Skirt may be the next big thing in the automotive industry and the Koreans got to it first.
In the ever-evolving landscape of electric vehicles (EVs), car manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of aerodynamics to squeeze every kilometer of range out of their expensive and heavy batteries. Now a new breakthrough comes from Korea as Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation introduce ‘Active Air Skirt’ (AAS) technology. This revolutionary technology is designed to minimize aerodynamic resistance during high-speed driving, significantly enhancing the driving range and stability of electric vehicles.
The Importance of Aerodynamics in the EV Era
In the era of electric vehicles, the competition to maximize driving range from a single charge has become increasingly fierce. The relationship between vehicles and aerodynamics has never been more crucial, as aerodynamic performance not only affects power efficiency but also plays a pivotal role in driving stability and minimizing wind noise.
Understanding AAS Technology
The Active Air Skirt (AAS) technology is a game-changer in the pursuit of optimal aerodynamic efficiency. It operates by controlling the airflow entering through the lower part of the bumper, effectively managing turbulence generated around the vehicle wheels. The system adjusts variably according to the vehicle’s speed during high-speed driving, ensuring optimal performance at all times.
AAS is strategically installed between the front bumper and the front wheels of the vehicle. While it remains hidden during normal operation, it springs into action when the vehicle exceeds 80 km/h, precisely when aerodynamic resistance surpasses rolling resistance. The technology is designed to retract at 70 km/h to prevent unnecessary operation within specific speed ranges.
A notable feature of AAS is its coverage limited to the front part of the tires, leveraging the characteristics of Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform for EVs. The platform’s flat floor allows for more effective aerodynamic performance improvement by focusing only on the tire section. This design choice also enhances downforce, improving vehicle traction and high-speed stability.
AAS doesn’t shy away from high speeds, operating seamlessly at speeds over 200 km/h. This capability is made possible by the use of rubber material on the lower part, reducing the risk of external objects splashing and ensuring durability during high-speed drives.
Hyundai Motor and Kia have conducted extensive testing, successfully reducing the drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.008 in the Genesis GV60. This remarkable achievement translates to a 2.8 percent improvement in drag, offering an estimated additional range improvement of about 6 km—an impressive advancement in the world of electric vehicles.
Having applied for related patents in South Korea and the United States, Hyundai Motor and Kia are now gearing up for durability and performance tests. Mass production of AAS is on the horizon, signaling a new era of enhanced efficiency and performance in electric vehicles.