Hyundai has revealed the all-new platform set to underpin its electric vehicles over the coming years, claiming they will have a range in excess of 500km and be able to be charged up to 80 per cent in as little as 18 minutes.
The modular E-GMP architecture can be adapted to create a wide range of vehicles, including sedans and SUVs ranging from compact crossovers to large seven-seaters.
From next year, it will underpin Hyundai’s IONIQ 5 medium SUV, a new Kia EV to be revealed in 2021 and a series of other models covering a number of vehicle segments.
Hyundai announced earlier this year all of its EVs would fall under the IONIQ sub-brand.
The Hyundai Motor Group plans to introduce 23 fully electric models and sell 1 million units worldwide by 2025.
This will include a high performance model reportedly able to do cover 0-100km/h in just 3.5 seconds, on its way to a 260km/h top speed.
Unlike the brand’s current platforms which are primarily engineered for internal combustion engines, E-GMP is made exclusively for electric motoring.
Hyundai says this leads to many benefits.
Weight is evenly distributed between front and rear with a low centre of gravity thanks to the low mounted battery pack and motors, allowing for improved cornering performance and driving stability at high speed.
A five-link rear suspension system combines with an integrated drive axle — which combines wheel bearings with the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels — to enhance comfort and handling.
The E-GMP platform allows for both rear and all-wheel-drive, with the latter models having an additional motor.
Rear wheel drive was chosen ahead of front wheel drive due to the power of the vehicles and also to have an eye on fun driving.
Speaking to the media at the global unveiling, Hyundai research and development head Albert Biermann stopped short of saying the new platform would underpin future N performance models, but hinted it would be the case given the brand’s investment in the upcoming eTCR EV racing series.
Biermann said there would be a high performance prototype revealed next year.
E-GMP vehicles will have long wheelbases to maximise interior space.
With the position of the battery pack between the front and rear wheel axles , the cabin has a flat floor allowing for more legroom and various arrangements for the front and rear seats.
The battery pack will be the most power-dense system Hyundai Motor Group has made, allowing it to be lighter and able to be mounted lower in the body.
Different build materials have been used to protect the battery pack and distribute crash energy in accidents.
The E-GMP’s power electric system includes a motor, EV transmission and inverter integrated into a single compact module.
Hyundai says this ensures strong performance by raising the motor’s maximum speed by up to 70 per cent compared to existing motors.
This allows the motor to provide comparable performance to bigger motors while saving space and weight.
E-GMP vehicles will have 400v or 800v charging capabilities, which can add 100km of range in five minutes, and will also offer bi-directional charging to allow it to power other devices or charge other EVs.
It will also be capable of wireless vehicle charging.
Biermann said design was a major emphasis for its future EVs, even claiming the vehicles perhaps won’t be as aerodynamically efficient as they could be so they “don’t look like every other EV out there”.
Executives stressed the platform wouldn’t be used for commercial vehicles such as vans, with Biermann suggesting utes, trucks and other heavier duty vehicles may be more suited to hydrogen fuel cell technology.
Biermann also said the group wouldn’t abandon its current internal combustion engine-based EV offerings, such as the Ioniq, Kona Elctric or Kia Niro due to their current success, saying similar architecture would continue in the future on mainly smaller models.