Sandy is back in this next episode of Munro Live and he is having a look at the undercarriage of the KIA NIRO. The first thing he points out is that unlike many other EVs we’ve had a look at, this vehicle has a huge motor in the front end. Sandy’s explanation is that because the KIA NIRO was made to be a compatible body design to accommodate it being an, EV, Hybrid, or and internal combustion engine vehicle, it already gave them the space to put the main motor up-front.
Because there is so much space under the hood, KIA made a really interesting design choice that Sandy likes, where they put the AC pump inline with the electric motor, which balances shake and is more efficient. This also allows it not have to have a separate isolation and to have only a single line coolant hose which Sandy gives them a big star for innovation.
Sandy then moves further back to the half-shafts which are attached to an offset transmission as opposed to inline which we find on several other EVs. As Sandy points out, the KIA NIRO is a vehicle made for your average person and perhaps even a timid driver, not a speed demon or an off-road enthusiast. But in that vein, Sandy does find a few interesting choices such as designing out a tusk that would tear the wheel off in a SORB test or similar crash, and instead putting a LOT of iron behind the wheel in the longitudinals/rockers.
Looking back at the battery box, Sandy points out that they used friction-stir-welding to attached the bottom plates to a plate or channel above it perhaps separating the batteries. However, at other points they used TIG welding to other bolts which is a mystery to Sandy why they would do that. This leads Sandy to another mystery object which appears to be some sort of access panel at the bottom of the battery pack.
Sandy goes on to identify some other interesting features such as the spring being separate from the shock instead of over it because there is a lack of room. To accommodate for that they created a massive stamped lower control arm. The video carries on to explain some dampening characteristics and part alignment features. Sandy and the team remark that there are many design choices that remind him of 90’s, but not in a bad way, it’s just interesting to him to find those design choices in an EV.
To watch the whole video, click below: