After Hyundai has started developing its first model based on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) under the project name NE, further details are now becoming known.
According to Business Korea, series production of Hyundai’s new electric model will begin at the Ulsan plant in South Korea in the first quarter of 2021. Hyundai is considering introducing the new EV in Europe first, before launching it at home and the USA. Apart from some models aimed at overseas markets, this would be a very unusual approach for the Korean group. However, Hyundai appears to see better sales opportunities for the electric car in Europe than on the domestic market – and the new model could then help meet the CO2 targets.
The purely electric crossover is to be based on the concept car 45 presented at the IAA. Hyundai is planning an annual production of around 70,000 units, the distribution of quantities by country has not yet been determined. As recently as June, Business Korea reported that Hyundai planned to complete a prototype by December of this year and present the vehicle in summer 2020. At the time, the compact SUV was said to have a range of 450 kilometres – in other words, quite exactly the value that the Kona electric with 64 kWh battery already achieves today.
However, the Kona Electric shares numerous components with the conventionally powered Kona and thus takes on many of the characteristics of a combustion engine that are no longer necessary in an electric car – such as the long bonnet or the massive centre console. With E-GMP, Hyundai could plan its electric vehicles more flexibly and potentially manufacture them more easily.
In Study 45, Hyundai exploited precisely these advantages: The classic centre console is no longer required, which leads to a more open feeling of space. The dashboard consists of a continuous screen – even if it is not as large as in the Byton M-Byte.
It is likely, but not yet confirmed, that the NE will be Hyundai’s first electric car with an 800-volt battery on the new platform. When the Koreans announced their entry into the Ionity fast-charging network on the sidelines of the IAA, Hyundai announced 800-volt electric cars for 2021.