According to the latest news, talks between Hyundai and Apple may have stalled. Still, if things start up again, the South Korean automaker’s E-GMP platform could be key to Apple’s ambitions to build an electric vehicle.
Hyundai’s promising E-GMP platform has a lot to love.
Short for “Electric-Global Modular Platform,” the E-GMP is Hyundai’s first dedicated BEV (battery electric vehicle) platform. It serves as a base onto which an electric vehicle chassis can be built. It’s a software and hardware platform that boasts two motors, five-link rear suspension, and some impressive battery tech.
“Having a dedicated electrical platform [enables] us to rethink and challenge concepts and classical vehicle architecture that were dictated by the conventional engine concept,” David Labrosse, head of product planning at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center, told Cult of Mac. “For example, the front overhang was drastically reduced, creating outstanding new vehicle proportions that were not possible before.”
The platform offers a base onto which electric vehicles can be built, without having to create one from the ground up.
That sounds like the kind of innovation that could attract Apple’s attention. Using another company’s platform for its products wouldn’t be a first for Apple. In 2001, for example, Apple based the first iPod on a platform developed by PortalPlayer, which had created several reference designs for portable media players.
And TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently identified the E-GMP as a potential building block for an Apple car.
Here’s a deeper dive into what, exactly, E-GMP might offer Apple.
How fast, and how far, can E-GMP go?
A battery-powered vehicle based on E-GMP can reportedly provide a range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles), with top speeds of 260 kilometers per hour (161 miles per hour).
Acceleration goes from zero to 100 kpm in less than 3.5 seconds. That’s comparable with some of the top-of-the-line electric vehicles made by other companies.
What other neat features does Hyundai’s E-GMP platform offer?
Unveiled in 2020, the E-GMP platform also boasts some smart charging capabilities. It offers 800-volt charging capability as standard, but also allows 400-volt charging without the need for additional components or adapters.
Labrosse described this multicharging system as a “world-first patented technology.” The high-voltage charging also makes it possible to juice the battery from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes. In addition, the E-GMP’s nifty vehicle-to-load function allows it discharge energy from the vehicle’s battery to charge other electric machinery, including another electric car.
Finally, the battery pack is the most power-dense system Hyundai Motor Group has ever made. A smaller battery, with enhanced cooling, means more cabin space in a car built on the platform.
And all this is coming to an Apple car?
Sounds smart and disruptive. So it’s a perfect platform for building an electric Apple car, right? Not so fast.
“Currently we only plan to use E-GMP within all Hyundai Motor Group brands,” Labrosse said. “We will not speculate about any future plans to share technologies with other automakers.”
When Hyundai unveiled the E-GMP last December, Car and Driver reported that the platform “will be the underpinning of new Hyundai and Kia EVs starting in 2021.” The first reportedly will be the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5.
According to the latest news, talks between Hyundai and Apple may have stalled. Still, if things start up again, it’s possible Apple could build its long-rumored car on the E-GMP platform.
Apple is still interested, right?
After initially confirming talks with Apple, Hyundai pulled back on its public statements. But it seems like E-GMP is the type of platform Apple wants to work with. Early last year, Apple supposedly showed some interest in California-based EV company Canoo’s “skateboard” platform. It’s a similar-sounding vehicular base that could be used for building modular electric cars. However, Apple’s talks with Canoo reportedly fell apart.