Hyundai challenges VW with BEV platform

December 02, 2020 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Hyundai challenges VW with electric vehicle platform
After Volkswagen with its extremely successful MEB platform, the Hyundai Motor Group with the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis car brands now has developed its own platform for battery electric vehicles as constructive basis for the cost-effective development of numerous BEV variants.

Hyundai's new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) forms the technological basis for the Group's next generation of electric vehicles and is intended to enable a driving range of more than 500 kilometers. The combined 400V and 800V rapid charging system charges the battery to 80% of its capacity within 18 minutes. Compared with the Group's existing platforms, which are primarily tailored to drives with combustion engines, E-GMP is expected to offer numerous advantages, such as greater design flexibility, high driving performance, optimized safety elements and more space for passengers and luggage.

The platform has a modular structure and is highly standardized, which reduces complexity. It thus promotes fast and flexible vehicle development. It can be used for compact cars and sedans as well as SUV and crossover models. In addition, it offers flexibility with regard to the different customer demands on driving performance. For example, a high-performance model can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (60 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 260 kmph.

The modular design and high degree of standardization should enable Hyundai and its affiliated vehicle manufacturers to expand their model range in a relatively short time and thus strengthen their position in electric vehicles.

High energy density, large design freedom and flexibilty are the predominant features of Hyundai's new E-GMP platform.

Further design goals were to improved cornering characteristics and driving stability at high speeds. According to the designers, this was achieved by a low center of gravity due to the arrangement of the battery unit in the floor area and by optimal weight distribution between front and rear. The fast-revving electric motor also ensures high driving dynamics, and a five-link rear suspension, which is normally used in medium and large vehicles, is intended to provide increased ride comfort and stable handling. Another technical detail in this context is the world's first integrated drive axle (IDA), which connects the wheel bearings to the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels.

The energy density of the battery, which is integrated into the car bottom between front and rear axles, will be around 10% higher than that of the previous battery technologies of the Hyundai Motor Group. This is due in part to improved cooling performance, which is the result of a new battery structure with separate cooling blocks. This structure enables a more compact design, which benefits the space available in the interior and also reduces the weight of the battery pack.

The long wheelbase, short body overhangs and slim cockpit module maximize interior space. Its flat floor allows different arrangements of front and rear seats and more legroom for the passengers.

The drive system consists of an electric motor, a gearbox and an inverter. All three components are combined into one module. It ensures powerful power delivery, as the maximum engine speed is up to 70% higher than with previous electric motors. At the same time, this engine is smaller and lighter than other engines with comparable performance, the manufacturer claims. All models based on the E-GMP platform will use a standardized battery module of the same type, which can be relatively easily adapted depending on the vehicle segment, range requirements or customer needs. The module consists of standard cells that are wrapped in pouch foil and can be combined to form packages of different sizes.

The electric motor is controlled by the power module of the inverter, which works with SiC semiconductors. The engine thus increases the efficiency of the drive system by 2 to 3%, which increases the range by around 5% with the same battery charge.

The platform is designed for rear-wheel drive as standard. However, it can also be equipped with four-wheel drive by means of an additional engine. The all-wheel drive system includes a gear disconnect switch with which front-wheel drive can be engaged and disengaged to switch between rear and all-wheel drive depending on the driving situation.


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