Hyundai Motor revealed its latest EV tech on Monday, the Active Air Skirt (AAS). The new EV tech enhances aerodynamics to improve driving range and performance at higher speeds.
After selling around 117,000 EVs in the US last year, Hyundai Motor (including Kia) surged past Ford and GM for second in US EV sales behind Tesla. Hyundai and Kia accounted for around 8% of passenger EVs sold in the US last year.
The South Korean automaker looks to keep the momentum going with new EV tech and features. With competition rising, things like faster charging, longer range, and added features are becoming more common.
Hyundai has been on a roll, launching new EV tech designed to enable longer driving range, faster charging, enhanced performance, and safety. Its latest innovation, revealed last month, uses integrated chain technology to improve driving during harsh winter conditions.
In November, Hyundai revealed its “Uni Wheel” drive system that moves the main drive system components to within the vehicle wheel. This frees up additional interior space within the cabin.
Hyundai is also developing new battery tech, like advanced all-solid-state batteries, that offer faster charging and improved performance.
Hyundai and Kia’s latest advancement, Active Air Skirt tech, is designed to minimize wind resistance during high speeds for longer range and better control.
Hyundai releases new Active Air Skirt EV tech
The technology controls air flow to the lower part of the bumper, adjusting to the vehicle’s speed.
Hyundai installed the AAS between the front bumper and front wheels. When driving at low speeds, the unit is hidden. However, when traveling over 50 mph (80 km/h), the AAS is deployed when the air resistance is greater than the rolling resistance. At 43 mph (70 km/h), the unit is stored again.
The AAS also covers a part of the wheel. Due to its E-GMP EV platform, Hyundai says it only covers the front part. Since the platform is flat, covering a portion of the tire is more effective at improving aerodynamics.
The new tech also increases downforce, therefore improving stability and control at high speeds. This can be especially helpful in larger EVs, like SUVs or trucks.
As Sun Hyung Cho, VP of Mobility Body Development at Hyundai, explained, the new EV tech “is expected to have a greater effect on models such as SUVs where it is difficult to improve aerodynamic performance.”
Hyundai’s new Active Air Skirt can operate at over 124 mph (200 km/h) thanks to durable rubber material.
After testing the new EV tech, Hyundai reduced the drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.008 on the Genesis GV60. That’s a 2.8% improvement in drag, which can provide nearly 4 miles (6 km) additional range.
Hyundai and Kia have already applied for patents related to the tech in South Korea and the US. The plans are for mass production to begin after performance tests are complete.
Hyundai is already a leader in aerodynamics with the IONIQ 6’s leading Cd of 0.21. The 2024 Hyundai IONIQ 6 has an MSRP of $38,650 with up to 361 miles range. Meanwhile, Hyundai is offering a $7,500 purchase incentive that undercuts the new Tesla Model 3 by $9,300.