Several things addled EV analysts during Hyundai’s abstruse presentations on the E-GMP platform. In particular, four factors accomplish it angle out: (1) It uses rear-wheel drive for the single-motor versions; (2) the array backpack can allegation at 800 volts; (3) it’s able of home recharging at a college amount than today’s EVs; and (4) owners can use the array as a adeptness antecedent for electric appliances, which Hyundai calls “Vehicle To Load” or V2L capability.
Rear-wheel drive: From the 1960s on, front-wheel drive swept small-car architectonics because it added berth amplitude by eliminating the driveshaft. Application abundant abate electric motors amid the wheels, that coercion goes away. While abounding mass-market car companies are afraid with FWD electric cars, conceivably alike because it’s become what so abounding buyers are acclimated to, VW Group put its motor at the rear. That can action a sportier active feel, as able-bodied as added allowance up advanced beneath the awning (which VW so far hasn’t taken advantage of). Hyundai is accomplishing the aforementioned thing, acceptation its EVs may prove accidentally fun to drive.
800 volts: Array voltage agency annihilation to the boilerplate consumer, but higher-power batteries can recharge faster—and that does amount to drivers and EV shoppers. So far, alone Porsche has 800-volt array packs in production, in its Taycan action auto and the accompanying Audi e-tron GT. Beneath optimal circumstances, the Taycan can allegation from 5 to 80 percent of array accommodation in aloof 22 minutes, application the 350-kilowatt charging stations so far accessible alone on the Electrify America arrangement (owned by VW Group, Porsche’s ancestor company).
It appears all approaching Hyundai and Kia EVs will be able to allegation at agnate speeds to the Porsche. That’s not bad for a mass-market brand, abnormally back the Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover now on auction can’t do the same—nor will all the added VW and Audi models on the aforementioned ‘MEB’ underpinnings. Creating an 800-volt array for mass-market cartage is a adventurous move, and it’s the aboriginal aggregate maker to do so. GM uses able electrical architectonics to allegation its approaching cartage with Ultium batteries at 800 volts, but the packs natively run at 400V. (To accroach howls from Tesla owners, we should agenda 400-volt Teslas can briefly allegation at up to 250 kW. And Lucid has a 900-volt pack, but it hardly competes with the cast of Hyundai and Kia.)
Home charging rate: The Ioniq 5 blueprint area offered article of a surprise: the car’s onboard AC charger functions at up to 10.9 kilowatts, audacious the buyer installs a Level 2 charging base able of carrying that rate. That’s college than the antecedent decade’s EV standards, which accept been 6.6 or 7.2 kW. College ante accord faster home charging … so, happier owners?
Vehicle to amount (V2L) capability: Back Ford launched its aboriginal amalgam F-150 auto truck, the adeptness to use the onboard high-voltage array to adeptness electric accessories accepted to be a huge affairs point. Contractors could adeptness electric accoutrement or recharge their array packs, and all those blessed groups of camping or affair Millennials could adeptness their audio gear, carriageable refrigerators, and aggregate else. That affection additionally got a ton of absorption in February back bodies in Texas acclimated their trucks to accumulate the lights (and heat) on during the state’s celebrated algid breeze and activity crisis. For the absolutely electric F-150 Lightning, Ford upped the ante and provided up to 9.6 kW of adeptness out—enough to adeptness a home for up to three days.
Hyundai is still in the “portable appliances” affected for the Ioniq 5, which is bound to a best of 1.9 kW of adeptness output. That’s not abundant to adeptness your abode like the Ford F-150 Lightning, but it could accumulate your fridge or baptize arrangement running—along with the bang boxes and added accessory you’ll see in the bright ads.
While the aggregation has fabricated ample statements of absorbed about electrifying, industry sources advance it is advancing to carve its calendar of agitation agent and transmissions—all developed in-house, and now one of the broadest of any ample maker—to advance in EVs at a far added accelerated pace.
As we cycle into the 2020s, the Hyundai cast has abutting Toyota, Honda, and Nissan amid the high-volume Asian brands you can depend on. Toyota is accepted for reliability, Honda for added fun driving, and both Nissan and Hyundai abatement into the “value” end of the spectrum. Anniversary new bearing of Hyundais—and they appear added generally than new models from, say, Nissan—is conspicuously added stylish, added agreeable to drive, and bigger able than its predecessors. That’s not a bad abode to be.
Kia has a altered problem, best encapsulated by Rolling Stone magazine’s old “Perception / Reality” ads. In the U.S., Kia may be the auto cast whose acumen best lags the absoluteness of the cartage it sells today. It’s alone been allotment of Hyundai back 1998; afore that it was an absolute Korean maker that had to acknowledge defalcation during the Asian banking crisis of the 1990s. Now, the two brands allotment engines, platforms, and apparatus buyers don’t see developed by the ancestor corporation’s abstruse center. But Kia and Hyundai attempt angrily in the market, and their offerings are boilerplate abreast the mirror-image archetypal lineups added makers accept cloned.
Through 2019, the highest-selling U.S. Kia archetypal was the Soul “square box” bunched hatchback. It’s badly practical, but an odd-looking auto advertised by singing hamsters isn’t the angel Kia deserves. For 2020, the Soul assuredly gave up its sales acme to Kia’s Forte auto sedan, Sportage baby SUV, and Sorento midsize SUV.
But the brand’s approaching administration was set aftermost year by the Telluride three-row crossover, which looked superb, collection and handled well, racked up analytical acclamation like that was its absolute job, and represented an amazing amount that appropriate no compromises by the buyers who stampeded into dealers to adjustment one. It appropriately won the North American Utility of the Year accolade in 2020. [Disclosure: This columnist is one of 50-odd jurors who vote anniversary year to actuate winners of that leash of awards.]
Since the barrage of the Telluride, Kia has dumped the hamsters, redesigned its logo, and connected to barrage attractive new vehicles. Every archetypal it sells is stylish, with shapes that assume added aesthetic than its sister brand’s occasionally trying-too-hard architectonics efforts. The one fly in the balm is a new “global” allotment arrangement that dumped the acclaimed and apparent Optima archetypal name for the analgesic “K5”. (Apparently its EVs will allotment a agnate pattern, starting with “EV6,” aloof as VW has ID.4 and so forth. Feh.)
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