Being delayed due to the chip shortage and the supply chain issues, the much-anticipated EV4 and its sister car IONIQ 3 are expected to be surprising in many aspects!
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY
Ultra-fast charging 800-volt EVs from Hyundai and Kia are certainly the talk of the town, and the IONIQ 5 and the EV6 pairs are two of the most prized and sought-after electric vehicles in the world currently. However, due to their relatively high prices and large size, they don’t quite fit into everyone’s requirements. This is the reason why the next batch of compact EVs from Korea, that will feature new cost-saving technology is highly anticipated. Interestingly, however, from our findings, the path that Hyundai and Kia will take to deliver their respective products is expected to be vastly different.
Let's explore further into the current situation involving the development of the next-generation compact 800-volt electric vehicles for the masses from Korea.
To bring down the price of the EV4 drastically, as the Niro EV’s pricing differential between the EV6 is marginal, with the starting price of $40,000, which is similar to the EV6’s starting price, Kia is expected to employ LFP or lithium iron phosphate battery for the first time in the company’s history.
The IONIQ 5 and the EV6 are two of the most advanced EVs in the world. The dynamic duo is the first product from the Korean auto giant to integrate its first-ever dedicated electric car platform E-GMP or Electric Global Modular Platform, and the highly sophisticated 800-volt charging system for the incredibly fast charging time, which is the first application of such technology for mass-market products. The system is also bidirectional, meaning that the battery of the vehicle can serve as a mobile power station that can supply electricity on the go for many useful applications previously never been possible. Combined with the sophisticated styling and the futuristic and cavernous interior that makes the best use of the long wheelbases, the IONIQ 5 and the EV6 are certainly revolutionary, and therefore highly popular with the current waiting time being up to 18 months for the delivery.
However, they are not without some misses. First, the E-GMP duos are expensive, commanding prices of up to nearly $60,000, they miss the mark as far as being affordable, being nearly 2 times the price of an average new car. Also, with the characteristic long wheelbase of up to 3000 mm or 118 inches, which is as long as that of the Hyundai Palisade 3-row large SUV, the size is hard to muster for some, especially for the consumers in Europe where conditions are tighter.
This is the reason why the Hyundai Motor Group is preparing the next batch of smaller and more affordable electric vehicles to make its 800-volt products more widely available.
The more affordable and compact EV4 and IONIQ 3 will be smaller versions of the bigger EV6 and IONIQ 5 with the same 800V E-GMP skateboard-type underpinnings. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY)
We have previously reported that the development of Kia’s version known as EV4 is already well underway, as the first prototypes have already been spotted in Korea, as well as China. The EV4 is to feature a dimension roughly equivalent to Niro and the shorter European Sportage and offer similar technology as the EV6. This includes the E-GMP platform featuring an 800-volt bidirectional charging system for the 18-minute ultra-fast charge time, as well as vehicle-to-load functions. The power electric system is expected to be derived from the EV6 as well, which would be comprised of drive units ranging from 168 hp for the single-engine rear-wheel-drive to 235 hp dual-motor all-wheel-drive configuration, which would definitely be an advantage over the similarly sized front-wheel-drive only Niro EV.
However, to bring down the price of the EV4 drastically, as the Niro EV’s pricing differential between the EV6 is marginal, with the starting price of $40,000, which is similar to the EV6’s starting price, Kia is expected to employ LFP or lithium iron phosphate battery for the first time in the company’s history. The price of the LFP batteries tends to be roughly 30% cheaper than the lithium batteries that use NMC or Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt cathode, which are much more expensive materials compared to iron and phosphate.
LFP and NMC both have their respective advantages and disadvantages. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY)
The usage of the NMC batteries is now the norm for most of the EV manufacturers including the Hyundai Motor Group, as the LFP has been neglected due to the critical shortcoming of its low energy density, with the application only widely accepted in China until now. However, due to its cost factor, the LFP is now gaining broader popularity even outside China, as the various adverse circumstances such as the Russian Ukrainian War, hiking up the price of the key materials such as Nickle, where Russia fully controls the supply and the price. Tesla, with its success in China with the LFP batteries, is bringing out the technology for use in its EVs outside China, and even claims to equip up to 50% of standard ranged products with the LFP batteries. With even luxury makers such as Mercedes Benz joining in on the LFP bandwagon, with the expected application into its entry-level EVs such as EQA and EQB, Hyundai also has its sight clearly on the affordable batteries.
As stated at its latest investor’s presentation that took place in early 2022, the Hyundai Auto Group expects to make LFP batteries the standard equipment for the entry-level electric vehicles in the near future, with the NMC composition batteries to remain the default choice of the high-end and the performance products. However, with the advancement in the battery packing technology such as cell-to-pack that removes the intermediary modules, and even cell-to-chassis that attaches the cells directly to the chassis of the vehicle, the EV4 is expected to achieve about 250 miles or 400 km range, which would be on par with the latest Niro EV. Also, LFP battery-equipped EV4 would be capable of being charged up to the full 100% of the capacity, unlike the NMC battery that’s typically only charged up to 80 to 90% to maximize the life span, meaning that the LFP battery-powered EV4 will drive farther per charge than the equivalent NMC battery electric vehicles.
Kia EV4 prototypes as spotted in Korea with the size being similar to Niro and SWB Sportage. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY)
As the spotting of the EV4 prototype in China would indicate, Hyundai was originally planning to use CATL-sourced LFP batteries, to replace the NMC batteries in its entry-level products as early as this year, but the plan seemed to have been shifted towards relying on the compatriot battery suppliers such as LG, which is currently busy working on its first LFP battery factory to start manufacturing from late next year.
This new schedule would coincide with Kia’s updated plan to introduce the EV4 in 2024, after the release of the eventual Telluride SUV replacement EV9 in 2023, which is destined primarily for the North American and the domestic Korean markets. Mainly targeted at the European market, the latest report suggests that the smaller EV4 will now bear a closer resemblance to the EV9 SUV than the sleek 4-door coupe profile of the EV6 crossover, which seems appropriate as the EV4’s development code is OV, meaning that it will be compact-sized Electric SUV, similar to the EV9’s development code of LV, which stands for semi-large electric SUV, but unlike CV of the EV6, which indicates that it’s a semi-medium electric passenger car.
The compact EV4 bears a strong resemblance to the EV9 bigger brother. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY)
As envisioned by AutoBild magazine, the latest rendering of the EV4 is undoubtedly a miniaturized version of the EV9 that features distinctive front fascia with vertically stacked LED lighting assembly, body panels that integrate sharp edges and bulging front and rear fenders, and the unique c-pillars that kinks up at a sharp angle.
When it's all said and done, the bold-looking EV4 is expected to have a starting price of $35,000 to offer truly one of the best all-around EV packaging when it's released in 2024.
Even better news might be that the same packaging may become available even sooner in the form of the next-generation Hyundai Kona. Our sources report that the full-electric version of the all-new Kona, which is expected to debut in the spring of 2023, will be rebranded as the IONIQ 3. This is a strong indication that the new Kona Electric will no longer be a sister product to the Niro EV, and become an entirely different car, at least from the internals are concerned.
Like it was the case in the Genesis GV70, which is based on the same N3 platform, which is known to be extremely modular, the all-new Kona electric will sit on a skateboard-type underpinning no different than the E-GMP itself. So, unlike the new Niro EV that has the integrated drive module, which combines the motor, transmission, and power electronics for easy conversion of an ICE vehicle to a derivative electric vehicle, the all-new Kona Electric now will be equivalent to a fully dedicated EV much like the IONIQ 5.
The All-New Hyundai Kona / IONIQ 3 features sporty crossover styling as opposed to the SUV-like EV4. (For More Info: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY)
Therefore, it only seems natural that Hyundai opts to bestow on the new Kona Electric, the IONIQ 3 designation instead. This process would be a more cost-effective and faster way to deliver the dedicated electric cars without having to create one from scratch, passing along the savings to the end-users. The IONIQ 3 will obviously share the great sporty SUV styling, and functionality of the all-new Kona, which will be much bigger than before, by becoming as big as the second-generation Niro.
The standard Kona continues to be available as ICE and hybrid versions, with the addition of the plug-in hybrid for the first time. The hybrid and plug-in hybrid powerplants will also continue to be based on the latest Niro, which is a good thing. The IONIQ 3, as a sister car to EV4, should be available to the market approximately a half year earlier in late 2023 or early 2024, at about the same price.
WATCH THE FULL VIDEO: https://youtu.be/HwR0SodHVLY