Nov 11, 2023
Optimized air suspension could aid EV range, protect batteries
Hyundai claims a new air suspension system will have many benefits for EVs, from
Hyundai claims a new air suspension system will have many benefits for EVs, from maximizing range to protecting battery packs from damage.
The system was developed by Hyundai Mobis, the automaker's mobility-tech supplier, which previously demonstrated a hardware set called "e-corner" that lets vehicles turn on a dime. Air suspension isn't as exotic, but it could still have a meaningful impact on vehicle performance, Hyundai Mobis claims.
Like other air suspension systems already used in production cars, this one can raise and lower the ride height based on different conditions, in this case by up to 2.3 inches in either direction. This can be done automatically or via driver input. Sensors at all four wheels can automatically compensate to keep the vehicle level depending on weight and driving speed as well.
Hyundai Mobis air suspension system
Lowering the ride height can help minimize air resistance, improving efficiency, Hyundai Mobis noted. In EVs, raising the ride height while driving over uneven surfaces can also be particularly beneficial, as it helps keep low-slung battery packs out of harm's way, according to the company.
Hyundai Mobis doesn't discuss energy consumption, which has been an issue in the past with air suspension in EVs. Tesla has been incorporating an air suspension in its vehicles for years, and CEO Musk has said that the one in the Cybertruck will be a "game-changer."
The GMC Hummer EV also offers air suspension, which can jack the vehicle up to enable maximum ground clearance for off-roading, but that massive truck isn't exactly a paradigm of efficiency. Lucid, meanwhile, is proud of the fact that it didn't need the complexity of an air suspension and its energy consumption for its Air sedan.
Hyundai already offers an air suspension on some of its gasoline vehicles, like the Palisade SUV, but until now it hasn't on EVs—not even the Electrified G80 sedan. The automaker has in the past also pointed to the efficiency gains of not relying on an air suspension. But maybe its captive supplier Hyundai Mobis convinced it that one might be advantageous on models like the upcoming Ioniq 7 SUV?
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