Hyundai continues its drive to be the affordable alternative to Tesla with the global announcement of its new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), a dedicated battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform. The Korean automaker says the new platform gives it more flexibility and enhanced performance.
Hyundai has been on a tear lately with its development of electric vehicles. It recently announced a 10-vehicle electric vehicle lineup that clearly targets Tesla, as well as other competitors. This new platform gives Hyundai (as well as Kia) the ability to develop new electric vehicles at a faster rate to meet market demand.
From 2021, the E-GMP will underpin a range of dedicated new BEVs, including Hyundai Motor Company’s IONIQ 5; Kia Motors Corporation’s first dedicated BEV to be revealed in 2021; and a series of other models.
As Hyundai said at the announcement, the E-GMP is designed exclusively for BEVs. It provides various advantages compared to the group’s existing platforms, which have each been engineered predominantly to accommodate internal combustion engines. Benefits include increased development flexibility, powerful driving performance, increased driving range, strengthened safety features, and more interior space for occupants and luggage.
Simply put, Hyundai no longer has to shove its electric vehicle parts onto gas engine platforms. Time and resources aren’t wasted in re-engineering to make things fit.
Increased EV Performance
One of the elements of its new platform is a focus on performance. With the new platform, Hyundai says it can now offer a rear-wheel-drive variant with a 0-60 time below 3.5 seconds. That plants it firmly in the neighborhood of the high-performance Telsa Model 3 that claims a 3.1-second time with its all-wheel-drive platform.
Let’s not overlook the competition from the Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition. Ford announced it will have 634-lb.-ft. of torque and hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds (while returning a respectable 235-mile range).
EV Platform Performance Details
In the announcement, Hyundai said E-GMP is engineered to offer improved cornering performance and driving stability at high speed. This is due to optimal weight distribution between front and rear, a design that enables a low center of gravity thanks to its low-mounted battery pack, and the adoption of electric motors located in the space previously occupied by an engine.
The high-speed electric motor raises the driving performance of E-GMP vehicles. A five-link rear suspension system, which is typically used for mid and large sized vehicle segments, and the world’s first integrated drive axle (IDA), which combines wheel bearings with the drive shaft to transmit power to the wheels, enhance ride comfort and handling stability.
The platform secures battery safety through a battery support structure made of ultra-high strength steel. Hot-stamped steel components surround this structure for additional rigidity. Collision energy can be absorbed efficiently thanks to energy-absorbent sections of the body and chassis, effective energy load paths, and a central section of the battery pack tightly bound to the vehicle body.
How Hyundai Battles Tesla
So, how does this new platform help Hyundai battle Tesla? Maybe it’s hyperbole, but this could be as significant as Henry Ford’s Model T. Hyundai is making great strides to developing an EV for the working class.
With this new platform, Hyundai is able to spread development costs among many models including its Kia lineup. Tesla still has higher development costs that can’t be monetized at the same levels because of its limited lineup.
Also, Tesla continues to be aspirational. A recent college graduate really can’t afford one nor can a middle-class blue collar worker with a family to feed. Hyundai has built success over the past few decades specifically targeting that market. It doesn’t do as well still with its luxury brand Genesis.
The E-GMP Presentation
Here’s a presentation on the new E-GMP platform hosted by Fayez Abdul Rahman, senior vice president of vehicle architecture development center for Hyundai Motor Group.
It’s Not The Gimp
On an unrelated note, Hyundai could have come up with a better name for the platform. The first time I read it, the name hit my brain as E-GIMP. I’ll just have to train myself to say E-G-M-P as in W-T-H. Deep in the recesses of this middle-aged autowriter’s brain a 12-year-old fights for attention.
Keith Griffin covers Hyundai and Kia at Torque News. He has been writing continuously about cars since 2002. Keith used to be a researcher/writer for US News & World Report, as well as numerous car sites, including Carfax and Car Gurus, and a contributor to The Boston Globe. Most recently, Keith was the managing editor for American Business Media. Follow Keith at @indepthauto on Twitter, on @LinkedIn and on his Indepth Auto Facebook page.