Bring out the E-GMP.
Hyundai decides to go with a modular and standardized, skateboard-like platform to sit under its next generation of battery-electric vehicles.
Called the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), the new flexible architecture will be used on future battery-powered sedans, SUVs and CUVs from Hyundai, Kia and Genesis.
The first production E-GMP-based vehicle will be the Ioniq 5, due next year, that will launch in Europe before coming to other markets. 2021 will also see a battery-electric Kia CUV based on the E-GMP.
Hyundai has had success taking internal-combustion platforms and adapting them for alternative powertrain use, as the Kona Electric, Tucson Fuel Cell and the Kia Soul EV prove.
With the E-GMP, though, Hyundai has developed a platform that takes advantage of the benefits of a battery-electric powertrain (flexible interior space, ideal weight distribution between front and rear and a low center of gravity) while also offering potentially surprising performance enhancements.
“The level of power that we can provide to our customers with E-GMP is a lot higher than what we are providing to our customers today with our very efficient front-wheel-driven electric vehicles,” says Albert Biermann, president and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Division. “You can expect performance levels to almost 600 horsepower from the E-GMP platform. (We are) preparing for a very emotional battery-electric driving experience.”
To illustrate the E-GMP’s capabilities, Hyundai may show off a performance prototype some time in 2021, Biermann says, adding the automaker already is thinking about N Line E-GMP models.
For now, Hyundai is saying only that high-performance E-GMP vehicles could accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in under 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 161 mph (260 km/h).
Specifics such as total range and battery size will depend on the application.
But Hyundai says the dual 400V/800V system in the E-GMP will allow up to a 310-mile (500-km, using the WLTP test cycle) driving range while allowing the battery to be charged to 80% in 18 minutes when connected to a compatible 350-kW, high-speed DC charger.
Bi-directional power conversion also is possible, allowing E-GMP vehicles to charge other EVs or power electronics from their batteries. Wireless charging also is under consideration.
Other technical aspects of the E-GMP include high-speed electric motors (rear-wheel drive will be standard but putting a motor on each axle for all-wheel drive is possible), a five-link rear suspension and an integrated drive axle.
An ultra-high-strength steel support structure will hold the most power-dense battery pack Hyundai has ever made – about 10% more energy-dense than current EV packs. The motor will be controlled by an inverter power module with silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductors.
The automaker promises breakthrough styling for these next-gen EVs. “When our E-GMP vehicles come to the road next year, you will see fantastic designs,” Biermann says, because designers are not focusing heavily on aerodynamics.
Hyundai’s current lineup of ICE-platform-based electric vehicles such as the Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV and Ioniq EV already are doing well in the market, Biermann says.
“It’s just too good to give up on this, so we will continue with derivative EVs based on our next-generation front-wheel-drive platform and of course they will become even more efficient with better performance,” he says. “We will follow both ways.”
Instead, future E-GMP vehicles will “cover a wide range of segments, from the C-segment up,” says Fayez Abdul Rahman, senior vice president of HMG’s Vehicle Architecture Development Center.
The E-GMP even could underpin an EV the size of a three-row Palisade in the future, he says, and while commercial vans are unlikely to get the E-GMP treatment, Hyundai's robotaxi partnership with Motional will one day use the new architecture.
The E-GMP is part of Hyundai’s stated plan to offer 23 battery-electric models and sell 1 million EVs worldwide by 2025. Hyundai says 11 of those 23 BEVs will be built on the E-GMP platform.