Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have introduced the ‘Active Air Skirt’ (AAS) technology, aimed at minimizing aerodynamic resistance during high-speed driving to enhance the driving range and stability of electric vehicles (EVs).
AAS controls the airflow entering the lower part of the bumper, effectively managing turbulence around the vehicle wheels based on variable operation tied to the vehicle’s speed during high-speed driving. In the competitive landscape of the EV era, where achieving an extended driving range on a single charge is crucial, the relationship between vehicles and aerodynamics has become increasingly significant. Aerodynamic performance not only impacts power efficiency but also influences driving stability and wind noise.
Installed between the front bumper and front wheels, AAS remains hidden during regular operation but activates at speeds over 80 kph when aerodynamic resistance surpasses rolling resistance. It reverts to storage mode at 70 kph to avoid frequent operation in specific speed ranges.
AAS specifically covers the front part of the tires, aligning with the characteristics of Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP platform for EVs. This approach proves more effective in improving aerodynamic performance due to the flat platform floor. Additionally, it enhances vehicle downforce, improving traction and high-speed stability.
The technology can operate at speeds exceeding 200 kph, thanks to the application of rubber material on the lower part, reducing the risk of splashing and damage from external objects while driving at high speeds and ensuring durability.
Tests on a Genesis GV60 revealed a reduction in the drag coefficient (Cd) by 0.008, leading to a 2.8% improvement in drag and, consequently, an estimated additional range improvement of about 6 kilometers.
Hyundai Motor and Kia have applied for patents in South Korea and the United States, intending to consider mass production following durability and performance tests. Various technologies, such as rear spoilers, active air flaps, wheel air curtains, wheel gap reducers, and separation traps, are also being employed by Hyundai Motor and Kia to achieve competitive drag coefficients. The Hyundai Ioniq 6, incorporating these technologies, has achieved a global leading Cd of 0.21. Sun Hyung Cho, Vice-President and Head of Mobility Body Development Group at Hyundai Motor Group, emphasized the potential impact of this technology on SUV models, where improving aerodynamic performance can be challenging, and expressed the ongoing commitment to enhancing the driving performance and stability of electric vehicles through aerodynamic improvements.