Hyundai announces new E-GMP platform for electric vehicles
Electric cars are the future. At least before fusion reactors start propelling our cars with the Impulse drive. And electric cars are fundamentally very different from ICE cars, which means they need different underpinnings and that is the reason Hyundai has built the E-GMP platform. It is built from the ground-up to underpin electric vehicles so it is optimised to hold a large battery pack, while also making way for electric motors and maximising space on the inside.
Unlike some electric car platforms that are tweaked versions of ICE ones, E-GMP is a ground-up development that will exclusively underpin electric vehicles from Hyundai (and Kia’s). Now this leads to some significant benefits. For starters, the E-GMP platform will allow engineers to place the batteries low-down, which leads to better weight distribution, reduces the car’s centre of gravity and should (theoretically) result in better handling. There is also a battery support structure, made of ‘ultra-high strength’ steel, to protect the battery from damage. And there are also energy-absorbent sections to absorb the impact from an accident efficiently. The support structure also helps to disperse energy away from the motor and battery to protect them from damage, or worse — catch fire.
Hyundai’s engineers have also kept in mind interior space and the E-GMP’s fairly long wheelbase, coupled with minimal overhangs and batteries tucked under the floor allows for a flat floor within the cabin. Hyundai also claims that the battery packs which will sit inside the E-GMP will be the ‘most power-dense system that Hyundai Motor Group has ever created’. This is thanks to better cooling and improved battery technology which also results in lighter batteries.
The first EV to be based on this platform will arrive in global markets sometime next year, but Hyundai has already given us some interesting numbers about future models. There will be a performance-oriented model, perhaps the first electric ‘N’ vehicle, which is claimed to have a 0 to 100kmph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 260kmph. Cars based on the platform will have their electric motor, transmission and inverter all housed in a single module. This has allowed Hyundai to increase the motor’s maximum speed by up to 70 per cent. Hyundai claims that this high-speed motor can be made smaller and is also lighter than existing motors. There will be a standardised battery-pack, which can be tweaked to offer more range, depending on the use case. The E-GMP has been built to be a rear-wheel-drive platform, but there will also be all-wheel-drive variants of vehicles based on it and a transmission disconnector will allow you to switch between all- and two-wheel-drive. Hyundai has stated that E-GMP-based cars will get a five-link rear suspension system and an integrated drive axle. The latter combines the wheel bearings with the drive shaft to send power to the wheels.
Hyundai is developing an 800-volt charging infrastructure for its EVs, which will allow you to charge at speeds of up to 350kW. Hyundai has promised that one of the E-GMP-based models will get a range of 500km on a full charge on the WLTP-cycle and will be able to charge from 0 to 80 per cent in just 18 minutes. And if that was fast, it can also add up to 100km of driving range in just 12 minutes.
E-GMP also supports the next big thing in EV charging — bi-directional charging. Lucid was one of the first companies to announce this and Hyundai isn’t falling behind here. E-GMP-based EVs will allow you to charge other EVs with your car and even power an air conditioner or a TV for 24 hours!
E-GMP will underpin a total of 23 battery electric vehicles, 11 of which will be exclusively BEV models and won’t have hybrid/ ICE variants.. Hyundai aims to sell more than one million EVs worldwide by 2025. Of course, the first E-GMP based production vehicle is a long way away, especially from Indian roads. However, if it can charge fast and go a long way before needing to do so again, there’s no reason why Hyundai couldn’t bring their next-gen EVs to India.