Electric Vehicles

Hyundai Kona Electric wins Norwegian cold weather range test

Hyundai tested the model in the snow before ever sending it to dealerships.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Europe

Driving at low temperatures can deplete battery usage. Between power it takes to move the car, a heater running, heated seats on, and the climate control fan running, driving an electric vehicle (EV) in the cold isn't an ideal use case. Hyundai and Kia which share common ownership, are aiming to change that with heat pump innovation.

The short of it is that the latest design allows EV drivers to heat their car's cabin in cold weather without significantly impacting electric driving range, unlike other EVs. This also means that drivers can expect more consistent range prediction numbers from their propulsion system.

Hyundai Kona EV snow During development, the Koan EV was tested by Hyundai in Lapland, Sweden, where temperatures are extremely cold.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Europe

Kia introduced the technology in 2014 on the Soul EV. There, it was made up of a compressor, evaporator, and condenser. The heat pump captured waste heat given off by the car's electrical components and recycled it into the cabin.

Further development has moved the technology into other Kia and Hyundai products while increasing the number of sources it gets heat from, making range even more predictable. The pump now gathers heat from drive motors, on-board chargers, inverters, the battery pack, and slow charger.

Recently, the Norwegian Automotive Federation compared 20 electric vehicles that are sold in Norway in cold and warm weather conditions, analyzing which had the most consistent driving range and charging performance. They compared this to the range claimed by each EV's manufacturer.

The Hyundai Kona Electric took the crown. It traveled 405 km in the cold compared to its claimed range of 448 km (WLTP combined cycle). In severe cold weather, the Kona Electric delivered 91 percent of its promised WLTP combined range.

Other vehicles tested include: Audi Quattro 50, Audi Quattro 55, BMW i3 120Ah, Hyundai Ioniq, Jaguar I-Pace, Kia e-Niro (Niro EV), Kia e-Soul (Soul EV), Mercedes EQC, Nissan Leaf 40kWt, Nissan Leaf 62kWt (Plus), Opel Ampera-e, Renault Zoe, Seat Mii Electric, Skoda Citigo-E, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen e-Golf, and the Volkswagen e-Up.

To test the vehicles, "ordinary" drivers drove the vehicles in a variety of conditions on country and city roads, as well as highways, following the speed limit. All the cars were charged indoors overnight and all range tests were done with a cold start and no pre-heating.

Each model was test driven in Eco mode (or similar) with the cabin temperature set to 21°C and the seat warmer on the lowest setting. Each driver actively used regeneration.

The test drive route took drivers from Oslo, where it was 3°C with sleet coming down. The coldest temperature during the test was -6°C and during most of the drive it was snowing. Speeds varied from 60 km/h to 100 km/h.

It's important to note that tire diameter, topography, and driving style all play a role in range as well.

On average, the vehicles tested drove 20 percent shorter than their advertised range. Hyundai, Audi, and Kia vehicles performed the best in the testing. Tesla and Opel models were the farthest off from their WLTP estimates.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

McLaren has chosen an easy-to-pronounce name for its new hybrid supercar - Artura.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

McLaren is about to mark the beginning of a new era in hybrid powertrain engineering. In the first half of 2021, its high-performance hybrid series production supercar will go on sale and we now know what it will be named.

The McLaren Artura builds on the legacy of the McLaren P1TM hybrid hypercar, which was unveiled in 2012, and the Speedtail Hyper-GT, which entered production this year and the fastest McLaren ever with a top speed of 250 mph.

"Every element of the Artura is all-new – from the platform architecture and every part of the High-Performance Hybrid powertrain, to the exterior body, interior and cutting-edge driver interface – but it draws on decades of McLaren experience in pioneering super-lightweight race and road car technologies to bring all of our expertise in electrification to the supercar class," said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

Mclaren Artura The Artura badging sits on what is likely the rear of the car.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

It will be the first car to be built on the company's new platform architecture, which has been optimized for electrification. Design and engineering of the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture took place in the U.K. at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre.

Two photos released by the company show what is likely the back of the Artura, with a honeycomb design beneath the car's badging between two exhaust outlets.

The Artura will get a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that combines with an electric motor. This will be the engine's debut. McLaren says that the engine retains the performance benefits of the company's larger V8s but has improved torque response at low engine speeds. The Artura can also run on all-electric power.

The weight of the hybrid engine system has been offset by the application of weight-saving technologies throughout the chassis, body, and powertrain. Ahead of a full product reveal, McLaren is touting the car's class-leading weight advantage.

The McLaren Artura is expected to be revealed soon. Pricing will likely be announced at that time.

Trending News

 
 

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class elevates the luxury marque to new heights.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The formula for every Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is simple. Take a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and elevate it to a bonkers level. Make it lush and plush, and suitable to use as an executive's limousine. That's exactly what Mercedes has done with the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The car starts with a stretch. Its wheelbase is seven inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. All that stretching benefits rear seat occupants the most. But that's not all the perks for back seat riders. Long day at the office? Not a problem. The cabin has been upgraded to include new comfort features like a calf rest massage function and neck/shoulder heating.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class The model gets a unique front grille.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

This Mercedes is also differentiated from the rest of the S-Class at its face with a unique Mercedes-Maybach grille, complete with vertical chrome pinstripes. The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS received a similar treatment. At its sides, an admirer can see that the rear doors are wider and C-pillars feature a fixed quarter light as well as the Maybach brand logo. Adaptive rear lighting makes its debut on the model.

Buyers can request their chauffeur-ready car with a two-tone paint finish. The two paint colors are divided by a coachline that is applied by hand. Rolls-Royce offers a similar scheme.

The car's electrified engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that delivers 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. That's less on-paper power than the previous version of the model offered, but the electric boost off the line should make up for that, and make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Motor1.com has confirmed that an all-wheel-drive, V12-powered Maybach S-Class will be part of the lineup when it goes on sale.

Rear-wheel steering makes the car more maneuverable than its dimensions may have lead you to believe. A variety of wheel designs are available including 20-inch monolocks and 21-inchers.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Buyers can upgrade from the initial Mercedes-Maybach to add electrically operated comfort rear doors. This features allows for the doors to be opened with little force, even when the car is parked on a grade. Rear doors can also be operated from the driver's seat - an important function for those looking to be driven in their car rather than getting behind the wheel.

The cabin of the S-Class is as well-appointed as you may imagine it should be. Authentic materials featured alongside alluring color schemes are standard for the model.

It features high-quality wood surrounds on the sesatbacks of the front seats. Adding the Executive Rear Seat Plus package adds a similar area of trim between the two rear passengers. A seat belt extender has been integrated into the backrest of the Executive seat.

This Mercedes builds on the traditional S-Class's two standard infotainment screens and ups the number to five. In the middle of the car is a 12.8-inch display. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Two 11.6-inch screens are on the rear setbacks, and a removable tablet is stowed in the rear center console.

The car utilizes active noise cancelling technology to keep the cabin of the luxury sedan serene. To add in music, buyers can activate the S-Class's standard Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system.

Heated, cooling, and multi contour seats are available for each passenger. There's a calf massager for when rear seat passengers need a little extra TLC and a beverage chiller that is located in the center rear of the back console. Custom champagne flutes are available, natch.

The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580 will arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021.

Trending News