Hyundai Promises New EV Platform That Won't Have Terrible Range

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
hyundai promises new ev platform that wont have terrible range

If you feel like you’ve had your fill of news relating to electric cars, you’re not alone. Sadly, that’s just about all the industry is willing to let out of the bag right now. Whether you’re trying to pump staffers for information using sweet talk or waggling a crowbar in front of their face, they don’t have much else to discuss ahead of the holidays.

But that doesn’t mean there can’t be good news. Hyundai Motor Group, one of the few manufacturers that (mostly) hasn’t left us clenching our teeth when announcing decisions, has announced it’s building an all-new, electric platform that won’t have a laughably pathetic rang e. Unveiled in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) promises sports-car levels of acceleration, outstanding flexibility, and production models boasting ranges in excess of 300 miles.

While perhaps not the 400+ miles we’d all like to see on a vehicle type that can take hours to charge, it’s a step in the right direction and we doubt the brand is envisioning something with steep pricing. As things currently stand, the Kona Electric comes in Hyundai’s most-expensive product at $37,190 before destination. Other models, including the brand’s PHEV Sonata sedan, Ioniq EV, and eight-passenger (gasoline) Palisade SUV, all cost thousands less. The only exception is the $58,735 Nexo Fuel Cell — which is powered by hydrogen, exclusive to California, and probably not on your radar.

However, it and the rest of Hyundai’s offerings utilizing non-traditional powertrains may soon see themselves outclassed. The automaker said E-GMP had been designed specifically to deliver long-range, dynamic driving, and minimal energy consumption. Hyundai estimated ranges of up to 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a full battery and 80-percent recharge times in as little as 18 minutes — assuming you can find the applicable fast charger.

That’s pretty good and will be great if those figures are consistent with an array of desirable models utilizing the E-GMP architecture. Better still, Hyundai said it was targeting the platform for larger products and suggested something roughly the size of the 196-inch-long Palisade was already under consideration. But the first unit to tap into the new architecture (which uses an entirely new battery pack and motor) will be the midsize Ioniq 5 crossover scheduled to debut next year. It’s to be followed by a related Kia SUV before branching out into other segments and the Genesis nameplate. If engineers can maintain anything close to the 310-mile range, it would easily outclass the present e-offerings from numerous high-end European brands. Meanwhile, General Motors’ modular Ultium system is promising ranges of up to 450 miles — but only on vehicles equipped with especially large (see: more expensive) battery packs.

The only overt downer is the estimates being on the WLTP test cycle, meaning they’ll translate into something smaller once the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency runs its own analysis. We’re also always a little skeptical of estimates in general since they never seem to get any larger over time.

Dynamics are said to be improved by a new five-link rear suspension and Hyundai’s integrated drive axle — which it claimed would be the first to be mass-produced. From what we can tell, the axle integrates wheel bearings into the driveshaft and creates a smoother experience. As such, all E-GMP products will be rear-wheel drive by default. But Hyundai says it’ll also be building twin-motor vehicles with AWD.

That rear bias is also supposed to help the manufacturer build performance-oriented EVs, one of which is already rumored to be in development. Under idyllic circumstances, the company estimated E-GMP is capable of 0-100 kph (0-62mph) in less than 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 161 mph.

[Image: Hyundai Motor Group]

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  • Redgolf Redgolf on Dec 03, 2020

    "because I will probably rent for long trips anyway." My thoughts also! Plus the wife hates road trips.;-(

  • Ajla Ajla on Dec 03, 2020

    Comparing DOT holiday driving statistics in nonCovid years to the size of the rental fleet, there aren't enough rental cars (or ariplanes) to go around. The rental car idea also won't work out if new ICE cars are banned between 2030 and 2035, although ideally the ranges on affordable EVs will be in the 400+ mile level by then. Obviously YMMV but I like taking road trips with my personal car, it is one of my buying criteria. Plus, even if I did decide to make the lifestyle change and rent a car for any longer trips that means I'd want something like an EV Evora as my personal car not a practical thing like a Model Y. I can accept needing to charge a 300 mile EV during trips but I need to be very confident that finding an available and functioning plug will be easy.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.