A perfect convergence between an electric and a hybrid car
The world’s standards about eco-friendly cars are changing as the segment undergoes further innovation, meaning that the expectations of consumers towards eco-friendly cars are getting higher. Now an eco-friendly car must be apt for longer driving distances and show the same, or an even better driving performance than conventional cars. People expect eco-friendly cars to have the same power provided by the internal combustion engine and also have abundant space, which the early hybrid cars had to give up because of large sized batteries.
The Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS: North American International Auto Show) is often referred to as the barometer of the auto industry, suggesting the latest and future auto-industry trends. The overarching trend at the Detroit Auto Show 2015 was, once again, eco-friendly vehicles. The focus was on hybrid models at previous shows, but this year, the focus shifted towards the plug-in hybrid electronic vehicle (PHEV). A PHEV not only retains merits of hybrid cars, but also achieves greater efficiency through an external electric power source. This was demonstrated for the first time in the LF Sonata Plug-in Hybrid (LF Sonata PHEV), which made its debut at the 2015 show. LF Sonata PHEV is a totally new eco-friendly power train vehicle that is both dynamic and environmentally friendly at the same time.
Not only does a PHEV have the advantages of a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) with a dual type driving system that combines an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, it also incorporates the advantages of an electric vehicle (EV) that provides driving power based on an electronically charged battery.
Due to these embedded advantages, PHEV is an efficient green car apt for longer distance performance. In addition, PHEV exhibits tremendous power not only in terms of mileage but also in driving performance with a bigger capacity electric battery. That is why PHEV, accounting for only 5% of the current global eco-friendly car market share, is increasing in number at a rapid pace.
Since PHEV can be operated in both the electric vehicle mode and hybrid vehicle mode, the key element of PHEV is its ability to convert naturally from one mode to the other according to road and driver’s conditions. When developing its PHEV, Hyundai Motor took into account such elements, securing both driving pleasure and safety during any given situation. While driving on electric vehicle mode, the engine operates instantly when rapid acceleration is needed.
The six-speed automatic transmission maintains constant responsiveness at all times, immediately stabilizing the engine.
Hyundai Motor’s PHEV battery system provides greater safety and efficiency
Batteries have made many of the daily electronic devices much more convenient. We no longer have to work around the outlets to plug the cables into a wall socket. Furthermore, a lithium-ion polymer battery has accomplished a breakthrough in the portability of electronic devices. This also has led to the birth of slim-designed laptops, which were once thick and heavy.
For the auto industry, the lithium ion polymer battery has also played a huge role in the progress and advancement of eco-friendly cars, enabling them to drive a certain distance with an electric motor without an engine in action. Instead of adopting the generally used nickel hydride battery, Hyundai Motor co-developed a lithium ion polymer battery with an expert battery manufacturer. This battery displays superb performance in terms of capacity and power.
Two battery packs in a four layered safety package
LF Sonata PHEV has this lithium polymer battery divided in two packs. One is behind the rear seat and the other is within the spare tire well, providing a spacious trunk to overcome previous shortcomings in hybrid and electric vehicles. To avoid any possible safety issues that may arise from the separation into two packs, Hyundai Motor separated the battery controller and cooling system to achieve optimal control. In addition, the four layered safety design configuration that manages the separation membrane ceramic coating, manual protection structure, battery exclusive controller and safety repair system keeps the vehicle safe from all potential safety problems. Aging and degeneration are inevitable since the battery is a chemical product. Nevertheless, LF Sonata PHEV has secured sufficient durability that enables sustainable use under general conditions.
Electric shock and electric discharge preventive technology applied
LF Sonata PHEV, which has been put through extreme crash tests, has comfortably met the North America Collision Safety regulations. The main controllers and part controllers, the brain of a vehicle, always monitor the electricity flow and are associated with the airbag system so that the electricity can be cut off upon collision. The high electric pressure part in the battery is designed in a way that prevents access. In the case of a submersion, the battery gets discharged internally to prevent electric shocks. Also, unlike the lead acid battery where the battery is discharged automatically if neglected or not attended to, thanks to the lithium ion polymer battery, LF Sonata PHEV has less than a 5% self-discharge rate even if it is neglected for over 60 days.
On board charger, another attractive feature of the model
Charging vehicles at home is just around the corner. Like hybrid vehicles, Hyundai Motor’s PHEV is operated with fuel and electricity, but there is a charger port in Hyundai Motor’s PHEV so that the electricity can be charged anywhere. With the On Board Charger (OBD) that Hyundai Motor has independently invented, the AC power source can be converted to a DC power source to supply electricity to the high pressure battery. This means that the driver can charge the car with the plug after coming back from work and use the car fully charged the next morning.
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