Hyundai’s Next-Gen EVs Will Get 50 Percent Better Range Than Today’s Models

Hyundai’s Next-Gen EVs Will Get 50 Percent Better Range Than Today’s Models
Contributor: Adam Ismail

Hyundai’s E-GMP electric vehicle architecture is among the most competitive out there currently from any automaker, thanks to its 800-volt design and solid driving dynamics. In the future, it’ll be replaced with a new platform that Hyundai is calling the Integrated Modular Architecture, which the company detailed on Wednesday morning. It’ll come in two flavours — eM and eS — and if the manufacturer’s projections bear out, it’s going to blow E-GMP out of the water.

The big story is efficiency. Hyundai intends to launch its first eM-powered models in 2025, touting “a 50 per cent improvement in driving range on a single charge compared to current EVs.” If we use the Kia EV6 as an example of a “current” EV, that pseudo-SUV/elongated Lancia Stratos-looking thing targets achieve an EPA-estimated 499 km in its longest-range, rear-wheel-drive configuration. Fifty per cent better than that gets you to well above the 724 km mark, which is probably 129 km per tank better than I average in my Fiesta. That’s range anxiety, done and dusted.

Where eM is designed for passenger vehicles and also built to support Level 3 autonomy and over-the-air updates (isn’t everything), eS is intended for fleets and businesses. The “S” stands for “Skateboard,” and the idea is that eS will enable the most modular, function-first applications of Hyundai’s EV powertrain.

Through IMA, Hyundai plans to utilise common batteries and motors, along with a next-generation integrated controller that can carry the duties of a greater number of separate electronic control units. Hardware and software consolidation will save time, money and allow the manufacturer to push out software updates more quickly than ever before. As the press release explains:

The Group is also similarly integrating the vehicle controller. Previously, the software system needed to be upgraded separately for each controller to upgrade the functions of vehicles. However, an integrated controller delivers a solution to make this process more systematic and efficient. Thus, the overall number of controllers can be significantly reduced by integrating the lower-level electrical components managed by top-level controllers.

The integrated controller will enable the efficient development of diverse vehicle segments and strategic models optimised for each region and ease the process of adding new features and improving performance. The cycle of software updates will be shortened, whereas the frequency will increase. The technology also enables the Group to respond flexibly and swiftly to meet rapidly changing market and customer needs.

Speaking of which, software is getting a massive lift with IMA. Starting next year, all new Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models will support over-the-air updates — and not just EVs, either. This is both good and, frankly, bad news. Good, because it will allow Hyundai to improve vehicles and respond to issues more swiftly; and bad, because it will enable the company to push software-enabled features and subscription services.

That is, unfortunately, the way of the future. But Hyundai’s projected range and manufacturing gains also present reasons to be optimistic about a more efficient and ideally more affordable wave to EVs to come. Unfortunately, Hyundai can’t solve all the roadblocks to EV adoption itself.

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