With the Kona and the Ioniq, Hyundai already has successful electric cars on offer but both stand on shared platforms with combustion vehicles and hybrids. Now a pure electric vehicle platform is about to be completed, with the prototypes to be ready this year.
Hyundai started developing their first model under the project name NE based on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), according to Korean media reports. The carmaker has further asked several suppliers to supply appropriate parts for a prototype as reported.
The first model, based on the E-GMP platform, will be a compact SUV with a range of around 450 kilometres. Hyundai plans to complete a prototype by December of this year and present the vehicle in June 2020. It scheduled to go into series production in 2021.
With the Kona Electric, Hyundai already has a small electric SUV on offer. However, it shares numerous components with the conventionally powered Kona and thus takes on many of the characteristics of a combustion engine that are not necessary for an electric car – such as the large hood holding the engine or the massive centre console. With E-GMP, Hyundai could plan its electric vehicles more flexible and potentially manufacture them more easily.
According to the report, Hyundai is on the verge of selecting the main supplier for the battery cells. Whether Hyundai will award the contract to one company or several suppliers, as in the case of Volkswagen’s MEB, is not clear from the report.
With the development of E-GMP, it is also clear that Hyundai will not rely exclusively on hydrogen in the future. The Korean company had announced at the beginning of the month that they would invest 6.7 billion dollars in fuel cell technology. Besides, Hyundai intends to sell its fuel cell drive systems to competitors in the future to ensure faster global acceptance of the technology – and, of course, to recoup some of the high investment costs.