South Korean car maker Hyundai has unveiled its new “E-GMP” electric vehicle platform that will offer long range driving, high performance specs, and bi-directional charging.
The new platform will underpin Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq EV series as well as a new Kia electric car that will be unveiled in 2021, and a swathe of other new electric models.
Using the E-GMP platform, which stands for “Electric-Global Modular Platform”, Hyundai and Kia will offer electric vehicles with 500 kilometres driving range that can recharge to 80% in 18 minutes, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The platform will also pique the interest of those after high performance specifications, taking advantage of the electric drivetrain’s instant torque to offer acceleration from a standing start to 100km/hr in less than 3.5 seconds, for a top speed of 260km/hr, according to Hyundai.
Notably, Hyundai is embracing bidirectional charging with the platform, joining Nissan and Mitsubishi as the only car makers offering a two way charging experience which can allow homeowners to use energy from their vehicles or feed back to the grid.
This will be enabled via an integrated charging control unit (ICCU) that will allow power to flow from the vehicle at a rate of up to 3.5kW – enough to power an air conditioner of 55-inch TV for up to 24 hours, says Hyundai.
Ultra-fast charging will be optional depending on a 400 volt (for 50-150kW charging) or 800 volt electric architecture (for up to 350kW charging), with the modular platform allowing for customisation and rapid development to conform to particular model requirements.
“Today our front-wheel driven Hyundai and Kia BEVs are already among the most efficient ones in their segments,” said Albert Biermann, president and head of R&D Division for Hyundai Motor Group.
“With our rear-wheel driven based E-GMP, we are extending our technological leadership into segments where customers demand excellent driving dynamics and outstanding efficiency.”
Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of both Hyundai and Kia, has plans to sell one million battery electric vehicles by 2025 across 23 pure electric models in total.
In Australia, it currently sells the Hyundai Kona Electric (the second most successful EV in Australia after the Tesla Model 3 in 2020) and the Hyundai Ioniq which is available in three drivetrains from hybrid to battery electric, and which forms the eponymous new series planned by Hyundai.
Kia has wowed customers overseas with its e-Niro and e-Soul, although unfortunately these vehicles have been delayed in Australia due to the company needing to service markets where there are vehicle emissions regulations.
Unlike the existing Hyundia Ioniq fastback on offer in Australia, the new E-GMP platform will be used solely for pure electric vehicles.
Because of this, the entire powertrain has been designed around a battery-only power source, which means optimised driving dynamics and safety, plus more cabin space.
Battery safety is ensured through an ultra-high strength steel structure that uses hot-stamped components for rigidity while impacts are absorbed via “effective energy load paths” in the body and chassis.
The battery itself will pack the most energy so far used by the company, with Hyundai claiming an increase of 10% in energy density in part thanks to an improved cooling system and pouch-type cells that allow it to make the battery more compact, and to fit within structures in various configurations as needed.
The high-speed motor will pass power to the wheels via an integrated drive axle (IDA) which links wheel bearings to the drive shaft. This improves the ride stability and handling considerably, says Hyundai, as does the five-link rear suspension.
While the E-GMP is a rear-wheel drive platform first and foremost, all-wheel drive options will be available by adding an extra motor. This second motor will be activated and deactivated as necessary via a transmissions disconnector to ensure efficiency according to driving conditions.
The front motor will be controlled via an inverter power module which uses silicon carbide conductors to improve overall system efficiency by 203%.
This means, says Hyundai, that any vehicle using the E-GMP platform will benefit from an additional 5% driving range from the same battery size than previous Hyundai Motor Group EV drivetrains.
Hyundai’s Ioniq series will begin with the Ioniq 5 which will be based on the “45” concept, and which will be followed by the Ioniq 6 in 2022, based on the Hyundai Prophecy concept. In 2024, a fourth Ioniq 7 model will enter in the form of a large SUV.
“E-GMP is the culmination of years of research and development and brings together our most cutting-edge technologies. Our BEV line-up will evolve and be strengthened by this innovative new platform,” said Fayez Abdul Rahman, senior VP of the vehicle architecture development center for Hyundai Motor Group.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.