With a new EV platform, Hyundai lays the groundwork for an exciting new generation of electric cars, aiming for 1 million units sold by 2025.
Hyundai recently announced the development of a new electric vehicle platform that will underpin the company’s expanded push into EVs. The new E-GMP (Electric Global Modular Platform) will be Hyundai’s first “dedicated EV platform” designed from the ground up exclusively for EV production (as opposed to platforms originally designed for ICE or hybrid powertrains). The development of the new platform is the centerpiece of Hyundai’s ambitious goals for expanding their EV offerings. Hyundai says it wants to have 23 BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) added to their fleet and one million units sold by 2025.
Designed exclusively for electric vehicle applications, Hyundai’s new E-GMP won’t need to accommodate the kinds of components found in hybrid vehicles. The E-GMP’s smaller electric motors and flat battery pack (similar to Rivian’s “skateboard” platform design) save space, with the latter lowering the center of gravity of the vehicle.
Like other EVs, the E-GMP should deliver improved performance over ICE cars. The platform will be rear-wheel drive based with the ability to configure vehicles for all-wheel drive with the addition of a motor at the front axle. The combination of these two attributes, RWD and a low center of gravity, mean Hyundai’s platform will offer improved handling perfectly suited for performance vehicle designs.
The top end specs for the new platform are in line with current competitors like Tesla, GM, and Ford. The projected maximum range for E-GMP vehicles will be 310 miles on a single charge. The 800-volt system will feature a charging capacity of 350kWh, achieving a rate of 80% in 18 minutes. Hyundai says improvements in energy density (up 10%) and improved efficiency (up 5%) of the new platform will allow increased motor output by up to 70% in some applications.
At least such application will likely be a performance EV of some sort (there’s open speculation what brand it will emanate from). Hyundai’s stated high-end performance benchmarks include approximately 600hp, a zero to sixty time of 3.5 seconds, and a max speed of 161 mph. Those numbers should keep pace with most brand’s halo EVs (minus dedicated speedsters like the Tesla Model S or Porsche Taycan).
Hyundai says their system will also be capable of discharging energy back onto the grid, or what Hyundai calls a vehicle-to-load function. As Hyundai tells it this function would discharge up to 3.5kW capable of powering “a mid-sized air conditioner unit and a 55-inch television for up to 24 hours.” That might sound like a cool party trick, but for those who live in places like southern California, where rolling brownouts are a part of life in the summertime, powering an A/C unit in an emergency is a nice perk.
The modular nature of the platform means we can expect to see its application across Hyundai’s three brands, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis, and across multiple segments including cars, crossovers, and SUVs. Given economies of scale, this kind of broad application makes Hyundai’s goal of 23 new electric vehicle models by 2025 seem a bit more realistic. The Hyundai IONIQ 5 is slated to be the first production vehicle built using the E-GMP with a performance vehicle and others to follow shortly thereafter.
Hyundai said it hopes their big EV push will allow them to offer those vehicles at “more reasonable prices.” Currently, even with federal and state tax breaks and rebates, electric vehicles carry a price premium over traditional ICEs. Hyundai’s E-GMP leveraging economies of scale is just part of the puzzle. Last month, BloombergNEF projected that ongoing advancements in battery technology, growing industrial capacity, and increased demand will lower battery costs to or below $100/kWh by 2023. The lower manufacturing costs, thanks to both scaling and reduced battery prices, should, at least in theory, help Hyundai meet that ambitious goal of one million units sold by 2025…. Then it’ll just be up to the rest of the world to crack the chicken-and-egg problems of infrastructure and consumer demand.