Hyundai and Kia are currently conducting tests on a new aerodynamic feature for electric vehicles (EVs) known as the “Active Air Skirt.” This device aims to enhance range efficiency and provide increased stability at higher speeds, particularly for EVs built on Hyundai's Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP).
The Active Air Skirt functions as a deployable flap positioned in front of a vehicle's front tires and is currently being demonstrated on a Genesis GV60 crossover, a luxury brand under the Hyundai Motor Group.
This aerodynamic innovation is configured to deploy at speeds exceeding 80 kph (49 mph) and retract at 70 kph (43 mph), with the aim of avoiding frequent movements at intermediate speeds.
Covering only the area ahead of the front tires when deployed, the skirts leverage the flat floor design of the E-GMP platform. Hyundai claims that the Active Air Skirt results in a 2.8% reduction in the coefficient of drag for the GV60 test vehicle, potentially translating to an extra 3.7 miles of range. Additionally, the company asserts that the device increases downforce, contributing to improved traction and stability at higher speeds.
Hyundai and Kia have applied for patents related to the Active Air Skirt in both South Korea and the United States, with mass production under consideration pending successful durability and performance tests.
While E-GMP vehicles like the Hyundai Ioniq 6 sedan have already demonstrated impressive aerodynamic performance, Hyundai believes the Active Air Skirt could further enhance the efficiency of vehicles with different shapes, including larger SUVs like the Kia EV9 and the anticipated production version of Hyundai's Seven concept.