Home » Hyundai’s New Electric Plan Includes An EV Pickup And That’s Just The Start

Hyundai’s New Electric Plan Includes An EV Pickup And That’s Just The Start

Hyundai Ev Pickup Truck Topshot
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Here’s some news you probably weren’t expecting to hear: Hyundai has confirmed that an electric pickup truck is in the works at its Investor Day on Tuesday. Imagine that, Hyundai being the latest manufacturer to announce an electric pickup truck. Oh, and that’s not all — the automaker has a new EV platform in the works, big plans for lithium iron phosphate batteries, and has reiterated its commitment to electric performance cars, all in addition to prior announcements like a massive U.S. EV manufacturing facility to overcome restructured tax incentives. Shall we peel back these latest announcements layer-by-layer?

Let’s start with the electric pickup truck. As it stands, information is thin, but we can certainly say that it’s happening. As it stands, the company hasn’t specified exactly what form an electric pickup truck could take, so expect anything from a second-generation Santa Cruz to a full-on Ford F-150 Lightning competitor. Hell, it could even be badged as a Kia, that’s how thin official info is right now. Whatever happens, another electric pickup truck sounds pretty sweet, so we’ll be keeping our eyes open.

Vidframe Min Top
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Genesis X Concept

Of course, a future electric pickup truck wasn’t the only electric product announced yesterday. Hyundai also told reporters that “the flagship models of the Genesis brand” will soon be electric, which tracks well with recent Genesis concept cars. Remember the striking X Speedium two-door fastback, the imposing X Convertible, and the handsome X Concept coupe? Those concept cars might not need to become vehicles as predictable as a new G90 sedan, because a new platform that Hyundai is developing should unlock massive economies of scale.

E-GMP Is Old News

Hyundai Ioniq 6

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Hyundai’s 800-volt E-GMP modular electric vehicle platform is one of the best in the business right now, but Hyundai’s almost ready to move on. The marque is prepping a new Integrated Modular Architecture that should underpin 13 new EVs by 2030 and bear first fruit well before that. So what makes this platform so different from what’s currently on sale? In short, it’s being designed to do everything. Hyundai claims that its Integrated Modular Architecture includes more than 80 common modules can all be used in any type of vehicle built on this platform, which sounds great for economy of scale.

While the current E-GMP platform is mostly limited to crossovers and one unusual sedan, IMA can allegedly go under just about anything, which opens up a load of possibilities. Could this be the way that the stunning N Vision 74 makes it to production? Only time will tell. Of course, just because a new platform is on its way doesn’t mean Hyundai’s done with E-GMP just yet.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N Is Go

Ioniq 5 N Prototype

Here’s the update enthusiasts have been looking for: The Ioniq 5 N is still set to drop next month. While electric performance cars are quick in a straight line, most haven’t held up their end of the bargain when it comes to engagement. This isn’t uniquely an electric car problem (*cough* performance SUVs *cough*), but it’s something that disproportionally affects EVs because batteries are heavy. While it just isn’t possible to make even a well-tuned two-plus-ton vehicle handle like a well-tuned 3,000-pound sports sedan, it’s possible to hire engineers who are on their a-game to do the best with what’s available.

Hyundai’s current N cars are extremely engaging and communicative, so here’s hoping that translates to the sub-brand’s first electric model. Early signs are promising, especially looking at Car & Driver’s experience hooning a prototype on a frozen lake. The magazine claims this dual-motor rocket should offer “a net output of 600-ish horsepower” and that driver-selectable AWD torque bias, a proper limited-slip rear differential, and simulated gearshifts are all onboard. I can live without the fake shifts, but everything else seems neat.

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Let There Be LFP

Large 54043 2024 kona electric

In much the same vein as every other leading EV maker, Hyundai is jumping aboard the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery train. While less power-dense than the nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) batteries currently used in the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, LFP cells promise greater temperature-hardiness and lower cost, potentially hurdling two major barriers to EV adoption.

Interestingly, Hyundai plans on launching lithium iron phosphate batteries primarily in emerging markets at first, which seems quite smart. Take the cheaper batteries and put them in cars sold where most EVs are unaffordable. Of course, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before LFP cell production ramps up to the point of U.S.-market viability, although Hyundai would need to manufacture those cells in North America and source battery materials from favorable countries to qualify for tax rebates.

In addition to LFP batteries, Hyundai is working on a power bank that will let its EVs charge their batteries while on the move. See, batteries can’t be charged and discharged simultaneously, and Hyundai thinks that this secondary power bank should aid total range. Time will tell.

Renewed American Focus

Large 45968 2022ioniq5

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While Hyundai plans on waging electric vehicle war on all fronts, America is a key battleground for the Korean manufacturer, and a massive new plant in Georgia with an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles is critical to Hyundai’s U.S. EV effort. Hyundai’s EVs have what it calls a localization rate of just 0.7 percent in America right now, which has really hurt its brands due to missing out on EV tax incentives. Once the new plant in Georgia comes online in mid-2024, expect that figure to shoot way up to 75 percent.

In addition to localized EV production, Hyundai plans to fight the likes of Waymo and Cruise by bringing “an Ioniq 5-based driverless robotaxi business” to Las Vegas by the end of the year. Formed by Hyundai and mobility company Aptiv, the autonomous vehicle company Motional plans to partner with Uber for ride-sharing, which could get interesting.

All these plans are a lot to take in, and we can’t say how they’ll play out without the benefit of hindsight. However, the next six or seven years look very interesting for Hyundai, so consider it the automaker to watch. It’s progression from Excel to XG300 to 2011 Sonata to Ioniq 5 has been astounding, so a massive leap feels all but certain. Of course, I could be totally wrong, but let’s set a reminder for 2030 and look back on how everything went.

(Photo credits: Hyundai, Genesis)

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Drunken Master Paul
Drunken Master Paul
11 months ago

History is here to help. Remember when the Japanese manufacturers came in with the small, affordable, pickup in the 80s-90s and crushed it? That is going to happen again with small EV trucks and, again, the US makers are going to be left in the dust if they are not careful. The use case for a small, efficient, work truck (or van) never went away. It just got marginalized by the Bigger is Better propaganda and manufacturers focusing on big margin monster trucks (probably caused by the former point). But now with EVs more people are realizing what is really needed in a vehicle and what isn’t and the work segment is perfect for a small affordable truck that’s easy to get around in a city with adequate range (200+). Our friend History shows us that when it comes to work trucks the people that actually use them for work don’t care about luxuries, they want simple dependable and cheap. That is what made the F-150 the GOAT of work trucks (ED: DMP is a Chevy Guy but must acknowledge the F-150 GOATness). And here is where Hyundai or Toyota is going to stroll into the room, drop the EV equivalent of the SR5, and eat our lunch. If the Santa Fe or Maverick was an EV for under $30k there would already be one in my driveway, and I am signed up for a Silverado EV.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
11 months ago

I’m not fully convinced you are correct, but there is definitely merit to what you say. I’ve driven Nissan 720s for almost 20 years now. I’ve owned like 7 of them. I love small trucks. My wife owns and drives a Dodge 2500 and I really don’t care to drive that thing.

I wish Alpha Motor Company (or whatever they aren’t) wasn’t just vaporware. Their Alpha Wolf truck and the Ace coupe are the best looking pieces of vintage inspired EV I’ve seen. Their Estate wagon is pretty cool too.

However, my experience is that even the people who must USE trucks will own the nicest thing they can. Really successful contractors around me drive the top end trucks, even to the job sites they work on. Its only on the fleet side where I see cheap reliability as the only factor.

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
11 months ago

My DD is a Hyundai Santa Cruz. I didn’t need a huge truck. I don’t work in a trade or have anything beyond typical passenger car stuff to haul around. But I make runs to Lowes now and then, or need to move a bulky item. It’s a great balance of all-around functionality in a nicely-sized package that has all the capability I need. A larger truck would offer the same, but cost more (to buy and operate). Plus it wouldn’t fit in my garage, which is a requirement.

If Hyundai comes out with an electric Santa Cruz equivalent, I might have to trade in my 2023 model sooner than I planned.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
11 months ago

I am here for the small ev truck craze, so long as the prices are also small.

Pedro
Pedro
11 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

I’d settle for small-ish price. Batteries cost money, but you make it up on the back end.

Baron Usurper
Baron Usurper
11 months ago

BaronUsurper Motors is also working on an electric truck.

Our truck will have the carrying capacity of an F-150 with the cubic footage of a Geo Metro. It will come standard with the latest BUM battery technology (500 miles, solar roof, full charge in 45 minutes). It will cost you no more than 25,000 BEFORE the tax rebates.

The most recent valuation pegged our company at $10 billion. Series A investors can reach out to me directly to view concept art hastily drawn on a TGIFriday’s napkin.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
11 months ago
Reply to  Baron Usurper

Oh I’ll take one million shoonys worth of shares! Want to get in on the ground floor!

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
11 months ago
Reply to  Baron Usurper

I’d prefer a PDF of that napkin prospectus, please. And Congrats on your $10B valuation so soon. I’ve got $100k I can invest. Who do I speak to?

Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
11 months ago

An EV/PHEV Santa Cruz would be a great vehicle for us urban dwellers. I imagine it would meet 80% of my needs.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Wyman

The fact that there are only traditional ICE Santa Cruzes is one of the reasons it can’t keep up with the Maverick. The base NA 2.4 liter is a wheezy, inefficient dog, and the turbo 2.5/DCT combo is honestly overkill for the purpose the vehicle is intended to serve. Electrifying it in any way (hybrid, PHEV, BEV, any would do) would give it a shot in the arm.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
11 months ago

Because there are electric or electrified Mavericks? I don’t think I’ve heard literally anything about hybrid Mavericks except complaints that they dont exist……..

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

That would be because they can’t keep them on lots

Drew
Drew
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Yeah, all of them are sold before they hit the lots. If you want to order one, the order banks will reopen in July. That’s pretty much the only way to get one. And the way a lot of buyers are getting their Mavericks both gas and hybrid variants.

I honestly think the Santa Cruz customer is the Maverick hybrid customer more than the ecoboost customer, so a hybrid might make some sales. I think the pickup look is of more interest to the ecoboost buyer.

Last edited 11 months ago by Drew
RataTejas
RataTejas
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I have a hybrid Mav, and the lack of a competitor in the fuel economy game limited the choices to one.

Drew
Drew
11 months ago

PHEV/hybrid would be so easy, too. They already have the powertrains in the Tucson.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

As we’ve discussed a couple of times, this is true….but it would also make sense that they want to prioritize those powertrains for a midsized SUV rather than a funky truck like thing that isn’t a volume seller

Drew
Drew
11 months ago

Yeah, I get why they would make this choice, but they have to be looking at the Maverick and wondering if really pushing for a piece of that pie would be worthwhile.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I think it would and I hope they do too. Plus they already have a bajillion crossovers as is.

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
11 months ago

I have a turbo Santa Cruz. I didn’t even consider the base engine.

Agree that it’s more than the vehicle needs, but it’s FUN*, and if I can stay out of the loud (but turbo muffled) pedal, 30MPG on the highway is easily doable.

I realize that’s not Maverick Hybrid numbers, but it’s still impressive for a vehicle that weighs the same as my former ’02 Crown Victoria, has more power but just over half the displacement. I could barely get out of the teens in the Crown Vic.

* My last car was an EcoBoost Flex, so same situation. More power than it need but FUN. And the Santa Cruz gives me the same performance feels and the numbers are pretty darn close.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago

As our resident N owner I’m excited to hear about the Ioniq 5 N but my expectations are kind of low. The EV6 GT it shares a platform and likely the batteries with isn’t all that impressive in any way other than straight line speed…and the way the N folks have been talking about their approach to EVs has had me worried. It seems like they’ve been working from a “let’s make it feel as ICE-ey as we can” place and I don’t think that’s the direction any of us want sporty EVs to go in.

To be fair, they’re not the only perpetrators of this. Toyota is literally working on a fake manual transmission for EVs that can stall the car if you mess up…which is quite possibly the dumbest car related thing I’ve heard this year. It baffles me that Japanese manufacturers really don’t have anything other than MANUAL TRANSMISSION!!!! as their response to sporty cars in 2023. It may work now, but it won’t work forever. Although that hasn’t stopped me from thirsting over the new Integra Type S incessantly…

Anyway, all I’ve really heard about the Ioniq Ns is that they’ve programmed a fake DCT and that you can do some weird torque vectoring stuff….and Biermann essentially soft retired as well. I really hope I’m wrong because I absolutely love my N and the N brand in general but if it’s an EV6 GT reskin with a fake DCT for $70,000 I’m not even going to be tempted.

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
11 months ago

I am holding out hope that the N is better than the GT. Hyundai is back in a weird space where Kia was meant as the sportier brand but Hyundai has the hotter models at the moment. I would have expected the N out when the GT launched if it was a direct copy. Hoping I am not let down. As much as I would want one, a regular 5 AWD would be sufficient to match my Sonata N Line in speed and be a little worse in handling, but offer a little more space, AWD traction and better road manners for the 95% of driving I do that is “non-sport”.

Drew
Drew
11 months ago

I drove the EV6 GT and wondered why I would give up so much range for so little. I was pleasantly surprised that the EV6 had better visibility than it looks like it does, but I don’t really know why someone would buy the GT or GT-Line.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I love spirited driving but I’m taking range over all out power in an EV almost every time. I don’t think we have the technology to make an EV that offers scintillating performance AND decent range for a reasonable price yet. Sure…there are Lucids and stuff like that, but for us mere mortals? I don’t think we’ll have any options on that front for a while unless you want to give Elon money, which I never will.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
11 months ago

I agree with you about Tesla – I’ll never buy or lease one. I’m impressed with my Polestar 2, which I consider to be pretty reasonably priced and the 270-mile range has never been a problem for us although we frequently take it on 400+ mile drives. As long as DC chargers are available, it’s just a matter of 15 – 30 minute charging sessions now and then. Though I wouldn’t mind if it had lower power motors and an even longer range, as I rarely need to get to 60 mph in 4 seconds.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
11 months ago

Um, so I dont know much about lithium batteries, but the batteries I am familiar with literally can be charged and discharged simultaneously.

J Hyman
J Hyman
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Tell us more about these batteries.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
11 months ago
Reply to  J Hyman

Installer, user and owner of LFP batteries in my namesake’s ride. On a sunny day, the charge controller will charge my LFPs while my inverter powers my microwave oven to defrost the finest gas station burritos.

I have not instrumented each component of my electrical system, so what I’m about to write is purely speculation. I am guessing that while my microwave’s magnetron bombards the burrito with 2,450 MHz radio waves, the charge controller’s output is not flowing into my batteries at all. Instead, the inverter powering the microwave oven is drawing 100% of the charge controller’s output and takes whatever else it needs from the batteries.

I’m not an electrical engineer, so I probably mis-explained my guess using incorrect language. Corrections welcome.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
11 months ago
Reply to  J Hyman

Like the battery in your car? It’s debatable whether it’s actually charging and discharging, but you can definitely simultaneously add power to and remove power from a circuit containing a lead acid battery. That actually happens the entire time your car is running.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I’m way outside of my area of expertise, but why not shoot my mouth off and expose the depth of my ignorance for the amusement of others? As I understand the chemistry of LFP batteries, during the charge cycle electrons flow from a cathode through an electrolyte to the anode. During discharge, electrons flow in the opposite direction through the electrolyte.

I’m probably oversimplifying and misunderstanding the chemical process, but I don’t think electrons can flow in two directions simultaneously through an electrolyte. My goodness, someone who knows what they’re talking about please chime in.

Sivad Nayrb
Sivad Nayrb
11 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Umm… No.

The battery in your car does not charge and discharge while driving.

Unlike Kristen Stewart, Anna Paquin, or Drew Barrymore, it can’t go both ways…

The car starts on the battery, then continues running via alternator. The alternator does replenish the battery at higher alternator speeds.

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
11 months ago
Reply to  Sivad Nayrb

The battery in your car does not charge and discharge while driving.

Alternators in modern vehicles are a bit smarter than they used to be. In my namesake vehicle, the alternator idles while the ICE is under load. During deceleration, the alternator charges the starter battery and coincidentally adds to the engine’s braking.

It seems unlikely my vehicle charges and discharges the starter battery simultaneously.

Sources: A graph on my dashboard showing a combination of instantaneous fuel mileage and alternator charging. Also, documentation provided by the manufacturer of the charge controller I installed.

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