By the year 2025, Hyundai Motor Group will offer 23 distinct all-electric vehicles, some of which will be built on a dedicated EV chassis. Today, the automaker revealed that modular platform, dubbed E-GMP. The E-GMP architecture, which can be reconfigured to suit subcompact, compact, and midsize cars and SUVs, will offer a range of up to 310 miles, while also enabling performance-oriented EVs to sprint to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds.
The E-GMP platform will first appear on the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5, the first dedicated vehicle from the company’s forthcoming EV sub-brand. After the Ioniq 5, the architecture will underpin a Kia model with an entirely new design and “an exciting powertrain,” according to company representatives. E-GMP will also make its way to the luxury-oriented Genesis division, giving that brand its first-ever EV product to compete with everything from the Tesla Model 3 and Model S to the BMW iX and Audi E-Tron Sportback. Unfortunately, total battery capacity is unconfirmed, but Hyundai did promise up to 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) from the E-GMP platform.
Helping the E-GMP platform achieve its seemingly disparate goals of high performance and efficiency will be a modular battery system, with individual cells sandwiched into the base of the platform, which can be extended in both wheelbase and length to accommodate different vehicle sizes, shapes, and range mandates. Those batteries will feed power to a standard rear electric motor, while certain models will also include a front traction motor enabling all-wheel drive.
Like other EVs, the Hyundai platform boasts excellent space efficiency. The compact propulsion unit integrates an electric motor, transmission, and power inverter into one package, nestling it low in the chassis for space savings and a lower center of gravity. Since there’s no driveshaft connecting the front and rear motors, the platform leaves room for a flat interior floor, improving passenger foot room and seating flexibility for a variety of uses. And with no lumpy internal-combustion engine taking up space up front, Hyundai engineers were able to move heating and air conditioning elements forward, further improving cabin space.
This variability in design allows the E-GMP platform to show up under myriad vehicles. Company executives confirmed it would appear in B-, C-, and D-segment vehicles (corresponding in size to the Hyundai Venue, Tucson, and Santa Fe, respectively), and a larger SUV sized akin to the Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade isn’t out of the question in the future. However, the architecture is rear-wheel-drive by default, making it a natural fit for premium vehicles as well.
Charge Me Up
Hyundai Motor Group took great pains to ensure the E-GMP platform would be somewhat future-proof, and as such it is capable of 240-volt, 400-volt, and 800-volt high-speed charging. The first option is what will make most sense for overnight home charging, and 400-volt stations are already rather popular in public places. And while 800-volt chargers are currently few and far between, they should start popping up more frequently, giving vehicles based on the E-GMP platform much quicker charging. Hyundai says to expect an 80 percent charge in just 18 minutes from these chargers, which can also add 62 miles of range in just 5 minutes.
Improving efficiency is a unique dual-path charging system, wherein 240-volt power goes directly to the battery, while 400- and 800-volt power routes through the inverter before arriving at the battery. Speaking of those electrical modules, they also receive a unique cooling system that's separate from the battery array, improving both safety and thermal management.
Safe And Sound
As on any modern vehicle, passenger safety was a key concern for Hyundai Motor Group engineers. As such, the E-GMP platform boasts a variety of passive protection measures, including a front crumple structure with cross-car bracing, helping distribute collision forces across a broader surface and improving crash performance in moderate- and small-offset collisions. The under-car battery array rides in a hot-stamped steel superstructure, with extruded aluminum side beams running the length of the platform.
The design helps prevent battery damage by spreading the forces of the collision across a wider area yet again, reducing intrusion into the passenger cabin and reducing the chance of a harmful battery rupture. And it's all but guaranteed that the vehicle riding on top of the platform will also include active safety features like automatic emergency braking and lane departure prevention. Autonomous driving, though not yet officially confirmed, is also likely in the cards sometime in the future – Hyundai is getting involved with the Motional Robotaxi to research autonomy, for example.
Specific details relating to the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis EV future are as yet unconfirmed, but it's likely that each brand will offer at least two or three EV models by the end of the decade. And the dedicated E-GMP platform is part and parcel to that plan. Unfortunately, it might be some time before we see massive fleets of Hyundai Motor Group EVs on the road, as the company is taking a cautious, reliability-focused approach to production.
"We are expecting high demand when the first vehicle comes to market, but high quality has the highest priority in Hyundai Motor Group," said Fayez Abdul Rahman, senior vice president of the company's Vehicle Architecture Development Center. Rahman went on to say that some customers might have to wait, but that the company will not compromise quality for high production numbers.
So while the Ioniq 5 arrives next year and the unnamed Kia EV a year later, it might be 2022 or 2023 before they're widely available at local dealerships. Still, the E-GMP platform shows great promise, and the company's quality-focused strategy should serve it well in the long term.