The automakers acknowledge that competition among automakers on driving range between charges is 'fierce.'   -  IMAGE: Hyundai

The automakers acknowledge that competition among automakers on driving range between charges is 'fierce.'

IMAGE: Hyundai

South Korean automakers Hyundai and Kia introduced a feature they say will make electric vehicles go further and faster.

The former consideration is a major one among consumers who own or are considering buying an EV, as many worry they'll run out of power on the road and therefore stick with gas-powered models.

EVs already accelerate faster than gas-powered vehicles, but the two automakers say their “active air skirt” technology would also speed them up even more while giving them more range by minimizing aerodynamic resistance at high speeds.

The technology, AAS for short, is designed to be installed between the front bumper and front wheels. It restrains air flow through the lower bumper, effectively controlling turbulence around the wheels “by operating variably according to the vehicle speed” at high speeds, the companies say in a press release announcing the innovation.

AAS is out of sight except at speeds over 50 mph, when the “aerodynamic resistance becomes greater than the air resistance,” they say.

The companies acknowledge that competition among automakers on driving range between charges is “fierce.” The U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation of U.S. EV market leader Tesla last year over its models’ estimated ranges.

Hyundai is the parent company of Kia. The two have applied for patents for the technology in their home country and in the U.S., and said they plan to consider mass production after testing.

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Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today

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