Hyundai and Kia have unveiled a dedicated new platform for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that is based on a rear-wheel drive layout – and can also provide all-wheel drive – rather than the front-wheel drive chassis of the existing EVs from Hyundai and Kia.
The new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) is for its next-generation BEV line-up. BEVs based on E-GMP can provide a range of over 300 miles on a full charge (WLTP) and can be charged up to 80% within 18 minutes through high-speed charging.
Hyundai Motor Group plans to introduce a total of 23 BEV models including 11 dedicated BEV models, and sell more than 1 million BEVs worldwide by 2025.
From 2021, the E-GMP will underpin a range of dedicated new BEVs, including Hyundai’s IONIQ 5; Kia’s first dedicated BEV to be revealed in 2021; and a series of other models.
Designed exclusively for BEVs, E-GMP provides various advantages compared to the Group’s existing platforms, which have each been engineered predominantly to accommodate internal combustion engines. Benefits include increased development flexibility, powerful driving performance, increased driving range, strengthened safety features, and more interior space for occupants and luggage.
Customers will be able to choose between rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations; models with the latter can be equipped with an additional motor. The all-wheel drive system includes an EV transmission disconnector, which can control the connection between the additional motor and front wheels, and switch between two-wheel and all-wheel drive modes to enhance efficiency by offering the ideal level of power or performance for current driving conditions.
E-GMP reduces complexity through modularization and standardization, allowing rapid and flexible development of products which can be used across most vehicle segments, such as saloons, SUVs and CUVs.
Among these, a high performance model will accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 3.5 seconds and achieve a maximum speed of 160mph.
Most existing EVs and the fast-charging infrastructure provide 50kW to 150kW charging for EVs equipped with a 400V system; however, the development of 800V infrastructure, with up to 350kW charging, will gradually enable even more fast-charging.
In line with this trend, Hyundai Motor Group has invested in IONITY, Europe’s leading high-power charging network, as a strategic partner and shareholder.
IONITY operates 308 high-power charging (HPC) stations – using a charging capacity of up to 350 kW – along highways in European countries. The company plans to increase this number to 400 HPC stations by 2022, including 51 currently under construction.
E-GMP offers 800V charging capability as standard and enables 400V charging, without the need for additional components or adapters. The multi-charging system is a world’s first patented technology which operates the motor and the inverter to boost 400V to 800V for stable charging compatibility.
A BEV based on E-GMP is capable of a maximum range of over 300 miles with a fully charged battery, according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light-duty vehicle Procedure (WLTP). It can also high-speed charge up to 80 percent in just 18 minutes and can add up to 60 miles of driving range in just five minutes.
Unlike previous BEVs, which only accept one-way charging, the E-GMP’s charging system is more flexible. The E-GMP’s newly developed Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU) represents an upgrade from existing On-Board Chargers (OBC), which typically only allow electricity to flow in a single direction from an external power source. The ICCU enables a new vehicle-to-load (V2L) function, which can additionally discharge energy from the vehicle battery without additional components. This enables BEV based on the E-GMP to operate other electric machinery (110 / 220V) anywhere. The system can even be used to charge another EV.
The new V2L function can supply up to 3.5kW of power and operate a mid-sized air conditioner unit and a 55-inch television for up to 24 hours.
Hyundai says that E-GMP will be highly effective in expanding the Group’s EV leadership position as it will enable the company to enlarge its EV line-up over a relatively short period through modularisation and standardisation.
E-GMP is engineered to offer improved cornering performance and driving stability at high speed. This is due to optimal weight distribution between front and rear, a design which enables a low centre of gravity thanks to its low-mounted battery pack, and the adoption of electric motors located in the space previously occupied by an engine.
The high-speed electric motor raises the driving performance of E-GMP vehicles. A five-link rear suspension system, which is typically used for mid and large sized vehicle segments, and the world’s first mass-produced integrated drive axle (IDA), which combines wheel bearings with the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels, enhance ride comfort and handling stability.
The E-GMP will underpin Hyundai Motor Group’s plans to introduce a total of 23 BEV models including 11 dedicated BEV models, and sell more than 1 million BEVs worldwide by 2025. As part of its BEV vision, Hyundai Motor Company launched its dedicated ‘IONIQ’ BEV brand in August 2020, which includes three dedicated BEV models, the IONIQ 5,6 and 7 by 2024. This currently covers various vehicle segments.
Kia is also undergoing a transformation for the era of electrification, based on its ‘Plan S’ mid-to-long term strategy. In September, Kia announced plans to increase the share of BEV sales volumes as a proportion of total sales to 20 percent by 2025. The company also recently published an early image of seven dedicated BEV models to be released sequentially by 2027.