By on December 2, 2020

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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 range. 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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25 Comments on “Hyundai Promises New EV Platform That Won’t Have Terrible Range...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’d figure that 310 miles WLTP is about 265 miles EPA – not that great by today’s standards, and years behind Tesla.

    Furthermore, the range claim isn’t linked with a particular type of vehicle or battery pack size, so I have no reason to expect that from a heavy SUV or a cheaper sedan.

    But I’d still consider another EV from H/K if they have something interesting next year.

    • 0 avatar

      I wish manufacturers would just buy Tesla drivetrains to use in their own EVs Cosworth-style. And include supercharger access.

      The EV part of a Tesla is superior to anything else with a plug on the market, but to get it you have to accept all the bitter pills that go along with the rest of the vehicle (frog styling, annoying gimmicks galore, terrible paint, giant monolith screen, steering wheel from an Isuzu truck)

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I won’t pretend that my little Ioniq EV is class-leading in overall metrics, but it does offer (subjectively) good looks and a low-cost, drama-free ownership experience, with all the range I need for >95% of my driving. It really is the easiest car I’ve ever owned.

        This particular vehicle has exceptional efficiency, so Hyundai did a very good job with the EV part as well as the rest of the car. One caveat: The Kona EV fires remain unsolved, so Hyundai may turn out to still have a few unlearned lessons. We’ll see.

        Up to now, the Tesla baggage has been too much for me to accept in a car purchase.

      • 0 avatar

        Tesla’s powertrain isn’t always better.

        Carwow did a test not too long ago to see what electric came closest to hitting its proclaimed range and the winner was the Kia e-Niro (the Tesla didn’t even come in 2nd).

        Also, one can “fully” charge a H/K electric as there is reserve battery capacity built-in, unlike for Tesla (not sure if this has changed since then).

        The various battery makers will each have their own breakthroughs.

        • 0 avatar

          The Tesla is considerably quicker than the Niro EV and in that carwow test it still went farther than the Kia by 15 miles. Gaming the Euro range tests by the least seems like a pyrrhic victor for Kia. Also I can buy a new Telsa right now while the H/K products with a plug are only available in 12 states and inventory in those states is very limited.

          Plus the Model 3 was updated this year so a new test is probably in order.

          • 0 avatar

            Oooh! A whopping whole 15 miles!

            1st off, the Model 3 is supposed to be a premium model (and not an econobox like the e-Niro), so of course it is going to have better performance metrics.

            2nd, the e-Niro is in the less efficient/less aerodynamic crossover bodystyle; it’s corporate cousin, the Ioniq EV likely would have eeked out another 15 miles of range.

            3rd, unlike for the Model 3, the e-Niro (nor the Ioniq) isn’t on a dedicated BEV platform, and instead, uses a less efficient chassis that has to be able to incorporate both an ICE/hybrid and PHEV powertrains.

            Upcoming H/K/G EVs using the new dedicated platform will be a good bit more efficient (on what was already a pretty efficient effort).

            4th, the Model 3 tested was the Long-range version, which one has to pay extra $$.

            So in light of all that, going just another 15 miles hardly is impressive, nor is getting only 78% of claimed range.

            That’s a far cry from the 90% that the e-Niro achieved.

            If anyone is “gaming” the Euro range test, it’s Tesla by being able to advertise a certain claimed range, while only being able to provide 78% of it in actuality.

        • 0 avatar

          @bd2: The CarWow test I saw ran the cars at 45F. The kia was 90% and the Model 3 78% of its tested range. Also, it wasn’t “proclaimed” range. It was a range based on the WLTP test. The article is an illustration of test issues rather than manufacturers claims. That being said, I’m a big fan of the real world tests. Since that test, Tesla started using a heat pump which should improve the range at lower temps.

          I also noticed the Leaf had 87% of it’s tested range in the test. Drop the temps to 0f or -5f and it’s air-cooled battery will absolutely perform worse than Teslas liquid heated battery.

          Tesla has always been capable of a 100% charge. On earlier batteries, you’d just accelerate degredation. With new electrode coating technology and other improvements that Tesla and other manufacturers are using, I don’t think it’s an issue anymore. Besides, with the new 4680 cells and million mile plus life, you could abuse the crap out of it and it’s still going to outlast the car.

          • 0 avatar

            Yes, it was claimed/proclaimed range based on the WLTP testing standards, just as automakers have to state a fuel economy rating based on the applicable testing standard for ICE.

            Tesla (and the other EV makers) takes that figure and uses it in their advertising.

            So, you wouldn’t be peeved if the electric car you paid a premium for (getting the Long-range variant) only was able to achieve 78% of the range that was advertised?

            Would you be happy if the bag of chips you got only had 78% of what was stated on the bag?

            Now multiply that by multitudes.

            The Leaf’s issues with extreme variations in temps is well known, but H/K electrics done have that issue as their batteries have systems which help regulate temp.

            Yes, the earlier Teslas were certsinly capable of charging to 100%, but there were advisories to not do so (at least on a constant basis, to prolong battery life).

            That further diminishes actual usable range,

            Meanwhile, the e-Niro has “spare” capacity built in, so one can “fully charge” without actually “overcharging” the battery, so something like the e-Niro comes out further ahead when coming closest to being able to regularly hit its stated/advertised range.

          • 0 avatar

            Now, am certainly not saying that H/K make the best electrics, as there are other automakers (including Tesla) which do certain things better, and a good part of “being better” has to do with the battery supplier.

            GM’S Ultium batteries and BEV chassis seem very promising, and could very well be at the top of the pile in giving Tesla a legit challenge.

  • avatar

    The relatively small range doesn’t make for good press, but I think range is only the focus of EV press because charging is still such a hassle–it takes too long, and there still aren’t enough places to do it.

    Emphasizing the quick-charging nature of the platform is a much smarter move. Even if it’s not a unique achievement in itself, I’m willing to bet any H/K/G product that makes use of 800V charging would be the cheapest non-Tesla to do it. Hyundai’d be smart to invest some money in a quick charging network, even if it’s a CCS one that could be used by other automakers. After all, how often do we talk about fossil fuel cars’ ranges?

    • 0 avatar

      “How often do we talk about fossil fuel cars’ range?”

      I’ve noticed it primarily as a gimmick to hide a vehicle whose fuel economy rating isn’t up to snuff. Car X goes 400 miles per tank whereas car Y only 300 (the part not prominently displayed is tank size and fuel economy estimate).

      • 0 avatar

        The reason we don’t talk about an ICE vehicles range is because you can find a nearby place to refuel nearly anywhere in the country and you can be back on the road in 10 minutes. Another reason is that if you bragged about your ICE vehicle having a range of over 300 miles, you’d be laughed at. Last weekend I went to a football game in a city 200 miles away, I filled the tank before I left and I still had 100 miles of range showing when I got back, and there were probably over 100 places I could have refueled along the way. If I had been driving a Tesla with the greatest current range I would have had to recharge somewhere, and there are currently no supercharger locations either at my destination or along the way. I’m not interested in a $45k car with that kind of limitations, no matter how fast to gets to 60 or how efficiently it can drive me into the back of a parked fire engine, all by itself.

        • 0 avatar

          Exactly! The only reason range seems to matter for EVs is because recharging is still such a hassle. At this point, EVs are perfectly competitive with ICE cars on their own merits; it’s just that the recharging infrastructure is still not what it needs to be.

        • 0 avatar

          “because you can find a nearby place to refuel nearly anywhere in the country”

          Electricity is widely available these days throughout the US.

          ” went to a football game in a city 200 miles away… If I had been driving a Tesla with the greatest current range I would have had to recharge somewhere, and there are currently no supercharger locations”

          Let’s see… the Tesla with the longest range that you could drive out the door today is 402 miles. It would be a stretch I admit, but you could do it non-stop. If there are no Tesla superchargers, you have ChargePoint, EVAmerica and other networks along with car dealers. The nearest NFL stadium to me has 50+ level 2 chargers, so I wouldn’t have had a problem. I would have parked at a level 2 near the stadium to save parking fees. I would have only wanted enough power to give me a bit of a cushion, so it wouldn’t have been a full charge time.

          “no matter how fast to gets to 60”

          That’s definitely not me. I want the quickest car and the fastest airplane I can afford. I’m not going to sacrifice the performance, smoothness, and quiet of an EV because I might have to stop for 30 minutes on a long trip that I take once or twice a year.

          • 0 avatar

            “Let’s see… the Tesla with the longest range that you could drive out the door today is 402 miles.”

            It’s cool that you’re wealthy, but most people don’t buy $70k cars. And something like a Corolla hybrid has a 600 mile range and costs $24k.

            “I’m not going to sacrifice the performance, smoothness, and quiet of an EV because I might have to stop for 30 minutes on a long trip that I take once or twice a year.”

            And that’s your call. But for me and many others range and lack of visible, sure-thing charging infrastructure is a major issue.

          • 0 avatar


            The wide availability of electricity doesn’t help you much unless you have a fast charger available, and there are many areas of the country where there are few to none. We live in the world we have, not the one we wish it to be.

            Anyone who intentionally pushes the limits of an EV’s range close to single digits is a fool. It’s bad for the battery and a slight miscalculation in traffic or conditions can leave you on the side of the road with a dead car, and AAA isn’t coming out with a can of electrons. We don’t all go to NFL games in large metropolitan areas that have lots of chargers, many more go to smaller college towns that don’t. Not everybody can afford a $70k car to get that 400 mile range, and many can’t even spring for the $40k one with 263 miles range. It’s not the EV enthusiasts like you the EV makers have to convince to buy expensive cars with limited range that can’t be conveniently charged in large parts of the country. To a lot of people, a car is an appliance, not a hobby.

  • avatar

    Tesla may end up buying Hyundai or Toyota or Honda. Musk said in interview to FakeNews that Tesla is considering an acquisition of mainstream automaker for its own amusement. As of today Tesla is the largest automaker in the Solar System by far.

  • avatar

    That’s nice.

  • avatar

    When my lease vehicle is up in 2 years I’ll be looking at a GM EV lease, I wanted an EV ever since I test drove a Volt back in 2011, just wasn’t going to pay the money, however if the batteries aren’t safe enough to park in a garage without the threat of burning down the house, forget it! Oh, my cell phone could cause a fire also?

  • avatar

    E-Gimp! Hmmm…!

    How many cycles would a battery which could be charged in 18 minutes last? Methinks battery replacements will be a major profit center once our overlords shovel this stuff down our throats!

  • avatar

    Speaking of the trips you only make once or twice a year, my wife and I usually rent a car when we are taking driving vacations because even though we have two cars that we could use, the cost to rent a car for a week isn’t much more than the depreciation costs of driving your personal vehicle 2,000+ miles, and you can get a vehicle with the biggest trunk available and one that is a more comfortable highway cruiser than what we have, newer too. If and when I get a fully electric vehicle, I probably won’t worry about getting one with the maximum possible range, because I will probably rent for long trips anyway.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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