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This is how we increased the EV9’s range by 501 kilometers at a time

What makes a competitive electric car? The range per charge is one thing, but since it can take 30-40 minutes to charge a car, it’s desirable to get as much range as possible. That’s why electric car manufacturers are scrambling to increase the range.

Kia’s EV9, a large electric SUV, has a range of 501 kilometers per charge. That’s the longest range of any electric SUV in its class. Here’s how Kia was able to increase the range of its large electric SUV.

Higher endurance with high-voltage batteries

Just as you need to be in good shape to run long distances, an electric vehicle needs a high-capacity battery to go far. Kia has equipped the EV9 with a fourth-generation battery with a capacity of 99.8 kWh, the first time Hyundai Motor Group has used a high-voltage battery of this size.

In fact, there are other electrified SUVs with larger 107.1 kWh batteries, but their range is only in the mid-400 kilometers per charge. The fact that the EV9 goes further with a smaller battery means that while the battery is important, it’s not the only thing that can increase range.

Reducing aerodynamic drag for extra range토토사이트

What else can increase range besides the battery? Kia looked at aerodynamic drag.

Studies have shown that a 10% reduction in drag can increase the range of an electric vehicle by 5%. The biggest contributor to drag while driving is the wheels. It’s estimated that 25% of a car’s drag comes from the area around the wheels, and since a running car can’t avoid headwinds, it’s essential to get the air out of the wheels as quickly as possible.

Kia’s solution is a 3D undercover. It’s a concave-convex shape instead of a flat bottom, and it’s often used by other EV brands as well. It’s a great way to reduce drag because it allows air to flow more naturally.

3D undercover on the EV9/photo=Kia
In the case of the EV9, the 3D undercover is centered on the battery, which is located in the center of the body, and is convex at the front and concave at the rear. It also features a narrower width towards the back. The streamlined shape is intended to further reduce drag, minimizing the vortex that occurs in the lower rear.

Kia says it took a lot of trial and error to get the 3D undercover right for the EV9. “We also analyzed the undercovers of other electric vehicles,” says Sangsoo Lee, a researcher at Kia’s aerodynamic development team.

The 3D undercover alone improved aerodynamic performance by about 3% compared to the existing flat undercover. That’s roughly equivalent to a 1% improvement in the vehicle’s all-electric cost.

The 3D undercover was used for the first time on the EV9 across the Hyundai Motor Group, including Genesis, Hyundai Motor, and Kia. With the good results, the company plans to apply it to future EVs.

“Each vehicle has a different bumper, and the airflow is different depending on the shape of the bumper, so the optimal shape will be applied to each future model,” explains Dr. Shin.

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