Skip to main content

Future Hyundai and Kia electric cars will be able to charge each other

Hyundai and Kia have launched a handful of electric cars based on existing internal-combustion models, but now the two brands are taking things to the next level. The new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) will be the basis for new vehicles that, unlike previous versions, will be designed from the ground up to be electric. Hyundai and Kia have hinted at E-GMP before, but have now provided concrete details ahead of the platform’s launch in 2021.

Like all modern vehicle platforms, E-GMP will be much more versatile than a basic chassis. It can be used for everything from sedans to SUVs, and from ordinary commuter cars to a high-performance model that can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 mph, according to Hyundai.

Most of Hyundai and Kia’s current models are based on front-wheel drive platforms, but E-GMP is rear-wheel drive by default, with a single electric motor mounted on the rear axle. An all-wheel drive system, using a second motor for the front axle, will also be available. However, the system will be able to decouple the front motor when extra traction isn’t needed to boost efficiency, or to take advantage of the handling benefits of rear-wheel drive, according to Hyundai.

Following in the tire tracks of Tesla, the battery pack is mounted under the floor, to maximize passenger space and lower the center of gravity. E-GMP uses a standardized battery module, making it easier to manufacture packs of different capacities depending on the vehicle. Hyundai quoted a maximum range of 310 miles, albeit based on the more lenient WLTP testing cycle used in Europe. An equivalent number from the Environmental Protection Agency testing procedure would likely be a bit lower.

E-GMP can also accommodate an 800-volt charging system, allowing for an 80% charge in 18 minutes, according to Hyundai. It’s also capable of bidirectional charging, allowing an electric car to supply emergency power during an outage, run electronics at a campsite or even, Hyundai said, charge another electric car. It’s the EV equivalent of letting someone siphon a bit of gas from your tank.

The first production vehicle based on E-GMP will be the Ioniq 5, from Hyundai’s new EV-specific brand. Scheduled to launch in 2021, the Ioniq 5 is a small hatchback with retro styling inspired by the Hyundai 45 concept car. Kia will also unveil an E-GMP-based electric car in 2021, the first of seven new electric models it plans to launch by 2027. By 2025, Kia expects EVs to make up 20% of its global sales.

E-GMP will also be used for future electric cars for the Genesis luxury brand, as well as for an autonomous “robotaxi” designed for fleet use, Albert Biermann, head of Hyundai’s R&D division, told Digital Trends and other media during an online press conference. The company will also continue to sell models like the Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV, which are all-electric versions of gasoline or hybrid cars, Biermann said.

The economies of scale afforded by a single, Lego-like platform have proven attractive as automakers look to transition to EVs. Volkswagen has its MEB platform, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has CMF-EV, and General Motors has its BEV3 architecture and Ultium battery system. Using the same building blocks for multiple vehicles keeps costs down — and should make it easier to launch large numbers of new EVs.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes is finally bringing an electric van to the U.S.
Front three quarter view of the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter electric van.

Mercedes-Benz might be known for luxury cars, but it also makes vans, and it's finally bringing an electric van to the United States.

Scheduled to start production this summer, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter is an all-electric version of the Sprinter full-size cargo van that's already a favorite of delivery services like FedEx and Amazon, as well as camper van converters. While the automaker has been selling electric vans in Europe since 2010, the new eSprinter is the first one aimed at the U.S. market.

Read more
Beware of this EV with pitiful charging speed — and others like it
Close up of the Hybrid car electric charger station with power supply plugged into an electric car being charged.

With a proper setup, owning and driving an electric car can be a pretty seamless experience. If you have a charger at home, you'll never really have to worry about charging -- simply plug in at home, and your car will always have enough juice to get you through the day.

But that convenience can fall apart when you go on road trips. Whether it's just a short jaunt out of town, or a cross-country adventure, you'll suddenly have to keep track of nearby charging stations, and allot enough time to charge up your car. With a car like the Kia EV6 and Ioniq 5, that can be a relatively quick stop -- especially if you find a 350-kilowatt charging station that can charge your car in a matter of 15 or 20 minutes.

Read more
VinFast’s new electric cars will be available in the U.S. this year
VinFast VF6

As we move toward electric vehicles, all kinds of new car brands have been popping up -- giving the traditional automakers a run for their money. Over the past few years at CES, one of the more interesting of those has been VinFast -- a Vietnamese company that delivered its first cars in the U.S. in November. Now, the company is planning on more releases over the next year -- and at CES 2023, we learned more about what those cars will offer.

VinFast may not be very well known in the U.S., but it's actually one of the larger automakers in Vietnam. It certainly doesn't have the experience in manufacturing on the scale that it's hoping to in the U.S., but unlike many of the other electric carmakers, it is actually shipping cars -- not just building concepts. The VinFast VF8 crossover and VF9 SUV were announced earlier -- but little was known about the smaller VF6 and VF7 models, until now. Turns out, like their larger siblings, they're pretty compelling options.
VinFast VF6

Read more