South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automaker, has announced its new dedicated electric vehicle (EV) platform, called Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The first vehicle to use the platform is the Ioniq 5, a Crossover Utility Vehicle, that the automaker plans to roll out in 2021.
This comes as many carmakers around the world are investing billions of dollars to improve battery technology, which has kept EV prices higher compared to regular combustion engine cars.
Hyundai said it is gunning to be a major player in the global EV market. The special feature of their new EV platform is its modular battery system that uses individual cells sandwiched into the base of the platform. According to Hyundai, this modularity allows them to extend its wheelbase and length to accommodate different vehicle sizes, shapes and range.
Besides that the batteries can feed power to a standard rear electric motor. Certain models can also include a front traction motor that enables all-wheel drive.
The automaker said in a statement:
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
The company said for its smaller electric cars, it will carry on using platforms that can be either combustion or electric, similar to the Hyundai Kona or Kia Niro. The E-GMP on the other hand, will be reserved for its bigger EVs and have no petrol option.
According to Hyundai, EVs based on E-GMP are set to deliver a driving range of 500km or more on a single charge. This is at least a 23% improvement over the Kona EV, the model with the longest driving range in Hyundai’s EV lineup.
In addition, Hyundai’s research and development chief Albert Biermann said the E-GMP is able to deliver up to 600 horsepower, a top speed of 260km/h and sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds.
The company said E-GMP vehicles will be equipped with an 800-volt charging system that enables the EV to enjoy ultra-fast charging. Hyundai claims its next-gen EVs can recharge from 0-80% in just 18 minutes while a quick 5-minute charge can push a driving range of 100km.
Interestingly, the EV’s battery offer bi-directional charging. This is thanks to an Integrated Charging Control Unit allows it to supply up to 3.5 kW of power to other electronic devices such as TVs, fans, air condition units and more. In addition, the battery can even charge another EV directly.
That being said, Hyundai doesn’t see the need to make its own battery cells. It remains content with cooperating with its suppliers including SK Innovation Co Ltd and LG Chem Ltd’s LG Energy Solution.
Hyundai promised to introduce 23 new EV models, which includes 11 all-electric models by 2025. It plans to sell 1 million EVs units worldwide by 2025. In addition, the company also plans to introduce a family of EVs under the Ioniq brand, that will spearhead its near-term transition towards EV production, by early next year.
Meanwhile, market leader Tesla said in September that it aims to halve the cost of its EV batteries and bring more production of the key auto component in-house in an effort to lower EV prices down to USD25,000 each (RM102,000).
What do you think of these new developments in EV technology? Even though the charging infrastructure in Malaysia is not matured at present, newer EV models are boasting longer driving range. This means you may not need to worry about constantly have to recharge. In the case of Hyundai’s E-GMP models, the 500km range should be enough to get you from Johor Bahru to Kampar in Perak.
But what do you think? Would you get Hyundai’s new EVs running on the E-GMP platform? Let us know in the comments below.