Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have unveiled Active Air Skirt (AAS), a new proprietary technology designed to enhance the range and overall performance of its EVs.

AAS works by minimizing the aerodynamic resistance generated during high-speed driving, effectively improving the EV’s driving range and driving stability. At the same time, it also controls the flow of air entering through the lower part of the bumper, and the turbulence generated around the vehicle wheels, by operating variably according to the vehicle’s speed during high-speed driving.

Installed between the front bumper and the front wheels, AAS is hidden during normal operations, and operates exclusively at speeds over 49 mph (80 km/h) when the aerodynamic resistance becomes greater than the rolling resistance and is stored again at 43 mph (70 km/h). Hyundai and Kia explained that the difference in deployment and storage speeds ultimately works to prevent frequent operation in specific speed ranges. The technology only covers the front part of the tires due to the characteristics of the Hyundai Motor Group’s E-GMP EV platform. Here, the OEMs say that, since the platform floor is flat, only covering the tire part is a more effective way to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic performance. This also enhances downforce, thereby improving vehicle traction and high-speed stability.

AAS can also operate at speeds exceeding 124 mph (200 km/h), a capability enabled by the application of rubber material on the lower part which ensures durability and reduces the risk of external objects splashing and damaging the technology when driving at high speeds. The technology can likewise help enhance the EV driving range of the vehicle it is fitted onto. Here, Hyundai and Kia installed AAS in a Genesis GV60 model, reducing the drag coefficient by 0.008 and improving drag by 2.8 percent. The OEMs say that, through this figure, drivers of AAS-equipped vehicles can expect a additional range improvement of around 3.7 miles (6 km).

Hyundai Motor and Kia have applied for related patents in South Korea and the United States, with both planning to consider mass production after durability and performance tests.