Hyundai Motor Group has unveiled the Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which is the company’s first dedicated battery electric vehicle platform. Highly modular in its design, the new platform will underpin a variety of models produced by the group’s brands, including by Hyundai, Kia, Ioniq and Genesis. The E-GMP will underpin the company’s plans to introduce a total of 23 BEV models including 11 dedicated BEV models, and sell more than one million BEVs worldwide by 2025.

Like other EV platforms, the E-GMP features a skateboard-like design, where the battery packs (with pouch-type cells) are mounted on the base of the platform. Adopting a modular approach, the number of these packs can be added or subtracted to alter the energy capacity available, while also allowing for a range of wheelbases and lengths to accommodate different vehicle sizes and segments.

Hyundai says it standardised the design of its battery packs to lower the cost of repairs, as only malfunctioning packs need to be repaired or replaced, rather than having an entire unit extracted from the vehicle. This also provides positive implications for quality control during production.

The company also adds that its battery packs feature a separate cooling block structure to make them more compact and lighter, while offering 10% more energy density compared to existing EV battery technology.

This not only enhances EV range, but also allows the packs to be mounted lower in the body for more cabin space. The lack of a driveshaft running through the middle of the car also results in a flat interior floor to provide more passenger legroom and various seat arrangements, while the lack of an internal combustion engine frees up space for the air-conditioning system to take its place.

The E-GMP is designed to be rear-wheel drive by default, but the platform can also be fitted with a front electric motor for all-wheel drive. It will also have the world’s first mass-produced integrated drive axle (IDA), where the motor, inverter and single-speed transmission are bundled into a single compact module.

Hyundai says that performance models based on the E-GMP are capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in under 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 260 km/h. A five-link rear suspension and front MacPherson struts will also give these vehicles some handling prowess.

On AWD models, the powertrain features an EV transmission disconnector, which can switch between two- and all-wheel drive modes to maximise range. However, that’s not all. The platform’s electric motors also have a different design from current, as they feature “hairpin winding technology” applied to the coils inside the motor.

A typical electric motor is composed of a rotor (with a permanent magnet) and a stator (with the coil winding), with power being generated by the rotational torque made in the interaction between the electromagnetic force from the stator and the permanent magnet on the rotor.

To generate power more efficiently, the coils need to be wound tighter around the stator, which is where the technology comes into play. By utilising hairpin-shaped coils with rectangular cross-sections instead of round coils with circular cross-sections, the coils can better “stack” on top of one another and reduce the empty space around the stator.

This in turn reduces the resistance around the winding, leading to a 10% improvement in the coil space factor, or the ratio of available space occupied by the coil. In addition, a new oil-cooling system manages the heat produced by the electric motor by spraying a mist of cooling/lubricating oil onto the coil inside motor to draw heat away.

This direct method differs from most motors that use water cooling to indirectly manage heat, which only sees coolant flowing within the motor’s housing. As such, a water-cooling system is unable to directly cool the hottest part of the motor – the coil – as its electroconductive properties will cause a short circuit.

There’s more to the E-GMP’s power unit too, as the silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductors are used on the inverter power module rather than conventional silicon (Si)-based semiconductors, allowing for a 5% increase in range.

Speaking of range, the E-GMP in its highest-capacity layout is capable of providing over 500 km following the WLTP standard. For charging, the E-GMP sports the world’s first multi-charging system that can accommodate 400-volt and 800-volt DC charging without the need for any manual adjustment.

As the company explains, other multi-charging systems require an onboard charger that are sometimes installed separately to support certain charging methods. For instance, a car may support 800-volt charging directly to the battery, but a separate onboard charger is needed to allow for 400-volt charging.

On the E-GMP, 800-volt charging is standard, but the platform will also support 400-volt charging sans additional systems, with the inverter performing a boost conversion of the incoming 400-volt power to 800 volts, before sending it to the battery. Slower AC charging of one- to three-phase is also supported, and this will operate on a 240-volt basis.

The 240-volt option is typical for overnight home charging and most public charging stations, while 400-volt stations allow for an 80% state of charge (SoC) to be reached from zero in about 30-60 minutes. With 800-volt ultrafast charging, the same 0-80% SoC can be reached in just 18 minutes, and being plugged in for five minutes delivers 100 km of range. Of course, 800-volt charging stations are uncommon (for now), but the platform supports it for futureproofing purposes.

The E-GMP’s charging system is also bi-directional with Vehicle to Load (V2L) support, meaning the batteries can double as a high-capacity external power bank. As such, passenger can charge external devices with the vehicle battery without an additional adapter, with the function made possible through the Integrated Charging Control Unit (ICCU), which controls the built-in bi-directional chargers, and the Vehicle Charging Management System (VCMS).

The maximum output of the V2L function is 3.5 kW, and you can essentially plug in 110- or 220-volt appliances, camping equipment as well as essential devices during emergencies. Hyundai says this can operate a mid-sized air conditioner unit and a 55-inch television for up to 24 hours. For even greater flexibility, E-GMP-based BEVs can even slow-charge the batteries of other BEVs through the ICCB (In-Cable Control Box), essentially a portable charger.

Aside from all the electrical technologies, the E-GMP also boasts a number of safety considerations. The platform’s multi-skeletal structure effectively distributes and absorbs the collision energy of an impact, and minimize the energy delivered to vehicle occupants and the battery.

This is achieved by front and rear collision frames, while a dedicated battery protection structure shields the battery packs from lateral shocks. Engineers also employed a so-called “battery-penetrative” mounting method where the battery is secured to the car floor with eight long bolts, which penetrate the lower edge of the battery.

This maximises the sturdiness of the battery-to-floor connection but also improves the physical stability of the battery in the case of an external shock, like during an accident, where ensuring the battery is held fixed in its place is paramount. This method also improves the vehicle’s NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) performance by reducing any vibration movements of the battery under normal use.