Hyundai challenges VW with BEV platform

Hyundai challenges VW with BEV platform

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

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.

Today, electric vehicles and also the fast-charging infrastructure are predominantly equipped with 400-V systems, which allow a charging capacity of 50 to 150 kW. In order to drive the development of the 800-V infrastructure, which enables faster charging with up to 350 kW of power, Hyundai Motor Group has joined the European quick-charging network Ionity as a strategic partner and shareholder. Ionity currently operates 308 HPC (High-Power Charging) stations with up to 350 kW charging power along European highways. The company plans to expand this network to 400 stations by 2022, 51 of which are already under construction.

The E-GMP has a standard 800-volt fast-charging capability but can also be connected to 400-volt stations without additional components or adapters. The platform’s multi-charging system is one of the world’s first patented technologies to use the motor and inverter to extend the compatibility of the charging system from 400 to 800 volts. Vehicles based on E-GMP have a maximum range of more than 500 kilometers (according to WLTP) with a full battery and can be charged up to 80% in only 18 minutes at an appropriately powerful station. A recharging for 100 km is possible in only five minutes.

Bidirectional energy flow enables new operating models

The charging system is not only flexible in terms of voltage, but also in terms of the direction of the current flow: it masters bidirectional charging. The vehicle battery can therefore be used to supply external electrical appliances with 110 or 220-volt alternating current or, if necessary, to charge another electric vehicle. Bidirectionality is made possible by the newly developed Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU). It is a further development of the on-board charger (OBC), which usually only controls one charging direction. The ICCU features the new “Vehicle-to-Load” function (V2L), which allows energy to be drawn from the vehicle battery without additional components. The V2L function, which supplies electricity with a power output of up to 3.5 kW, allows a medium-sized air conditioning unit and a 55-inch TV to be operated for up to 24 hours.

Bi-directional energy flow enables numerous innovative usage models

With the new E-GMP platform, Hyundai is underlining its intention to launch a total of 23 battery-powered models, 11 of which are exclusively battery-powered, by 2025 and to sell more than one million vehicles in this drive category worldwide. As part of this vision, Hyundai Motor Company launched the new IONIQ sub-brand in August. The company plans to introduce the three electric models IONIQ 5, 6 and 7 under this brand umbrella by 2024, covering different vehicle segments.

More information:

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