Update: ‘Hyundai Ioniq 3 Design’ section added.
Hyundai Motor Group’s new plant in Singapore will be a shot in the arm for the brand and boost its manufacturing prowess. The Strait Times reported in October 2020 that a Hyundai Ioniq 3 electric SUV is in the pipeline. It is expected to be rolled out of the brand’s plant in Jurong, Singapore, as its new entry-level electric car.
Hyundai Ioniq 3 Design
The Hyundai Ioniq 3 electric crossover will slot under the Ioniq 5 in both price and size. Still, this Hyundai is likely to benefit from the basic specification of the Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA), making the cabin roomy thanks to a stretched-out wheelbase and a flat floor.
Hyundai will be launching a range of numerically named EVs under the new brand, with the even numbers used for sedans and the odd numbers for SUVs.Hyundai announcing the Ioniq brand on August 10, 2020
The Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 are both unique in their own ways. The 5 is squarish while the 6 is coupe-like. Hyundai might create a slightly different design for the Ioniq 3, which could be muscular and emotional. Our unofficial render (pictured above) presents the Hyundai Ioniq 3 as a small electric crossover with modern elements like digital lights and aerodynamic alloys taken from the Ioniq 5. Like in the VW ID.3, expect the bonnet length to be short, and the A-Pillar to be pushed forward to free up plenty of cabin space.
To be assembled in HMGICS
The Singaporean news report sheds light on the brand’s short-term roadmap. The report stated that the construction of the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) would be completed by the end of 2022. Operations would start with the Ioniq 5, followed by the Ioniq 3 two or three years later. The Hyundai electric SUV could be a crossover the size of a VW T-Cross.
The Singapore plant would be Hyundai’s production site for domestic sales and regional exports, including shipments to the neighboring ASEAN countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Manufacturing EVs in the region may bring down their prices significantly in these markets. The annual production capacity is expected to be around 30,000 units. Singapore will probably get 5,000-6,000 units, and the remaining will go to the export markets.
The facility will house a futuristic R&D center and a smart vehicle production site. Expect the latter to be an assembly plant for SKD and CKD kits sourced from HMG’s overseas plants. Hence it’s unlikely that this will be a full-blown manufacturing site. Battery as a Service (BaaS) ownership model for future Hyundai EVs could be a possible advantage for customers in the ASEAN region.
Under BaaS, battery cost is not included in the vehicle price, lowering the acquisition cost by around 50%. Customers could then opt for battery subscription plans.
Hyundai eM platform
The Hyundai Ioniq 3 will likely utilize the upcoming Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA), a new platform evolving from the Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) in 2025. There will be two versions of the IMA platform: eM and eS. eM will spawn passenger vehicles, and eS will underpin purpose-built vehicles or PBVs.
We will introduce ‘Integrated Modular Architecture (IMA), which standardizes and modularizes core EV components such as batteries and motors while making improvements on the existing platform (E-GMP). IMA, which will be introduced in 2025, will be a passenger car platform, known as eM and a platform dedicated for PBVs, or eS.Jaehoon Chang, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor Company (2022 CEO Investor Day on March 2, 2022)
Hyundai will use the eM platform for entry-level and premium models, those belonging to B, C, D, and E segments. This platform will allow it to introduce new technologies like B-pillarless and swing door, a swivel seat in the first row, a long-sliding seat in the second row, a built-in air purifier, and controller firmware OTA updates. The Ioniq 3 has a stiff cost target and for this reason it may not get the best features of the platform.
The Ioniq 3 will feature a long wheelbase that offers more space than its ICE counterpart and even other comparable EVs. Dedicated EV platforms allow a wheelbase longer than similar-sized ICE models. Hyundai design boss SangYup Lee has said all Ioniq EV models will have a best-in-class wheelbase, as per a report from Car And Driver. Expect a surprising level of knee room for the rear-seat passengers for a car of its length. Lee said that the space revolution is the key for electric vehicles and utilizing the freed-up space opens up many new possibilities for designers.
eM platform-based electric cars will feature a new battery system – Cell-to-Pack. Unlike the current Cell-to-Module battery system, the cell-to-pack battery system will be devoid of battery modules. This will increase energy density, reduce cost, and improve charging time. Hyundai is considering the ‘Cell-to-Frame’ battery system as well, in which the battery cells are a part of the chassis.
Currently, Hyundai uses a different battery pack for different models. When it moves to the eM and eS platforms, it will switch to new standardized packs developed based on the modular system method. There will be nine types of battery packs in total, six 800-volt units for the eM platform-based models and three 400-volt units for the eS platform-based models. Hyundai will use both NCM and LFP cells in the eM platform-based entry-level EVs, but only NCM cells in the eM platform-based performance EVs.
We plan to improve energy density by Cell-to-Pack method, and Cell-to-Frame method is also being considered, which is the method of mounting batteries directly to the chassis. On the top of that, the cost of battery system will be reduced by maximizing standardization and commonization based on IMA strategy. The overall speed of charging time, one of the important factors of EVs, will continue to improve as well.Jaehoon Chang, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor Company (2022 CEO Investor Day on March 2, 2022)
Hyundai expects the cost of the NCM cell batteries in the eM platform EVs to be 40% lower compared to the NCM cell batteries of the E-GMP platform EVs. It aims to achieve this significant reduction in cost by 2030, the year it plans to commercialize solid-state battery technology. Unlike the E-GMP EVs, the eM platform EVs will be available with battery packs comprising LFP cells, too. The Ioniq 3 should be the main recipient of this low-cost battery.
Hyundai is planning a modular motor system for a family of five types of motors, four 800-volt units for the eM platform-based EVs and one 400-volt unit for the eS platform-based EVs. The company says that the new modular motor system will reduce energy loss, cost, and weight.
Motor systems will be operated in five types in accordance with the needs of each model and platform. Based on this standardized motor system, we will continue to improve competitiveness in terms of performance, price, and weight.Jaehoon Chang, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor Company (2022 CEO Investor Day on March 2, 2022)
Partnership with SP Group
HMG has partnered with SP Group, Singapore’s largest charging company, to build battery subscription services and develop charging infrastructure. Hyundai is also placing significant focus on the ownership experience — customers will be able to watch their EVs’ manufacturing process. Once the EV is ready for delivery, they can drive it on the 620-metre-long’ Sky Track’ at the upcoming Innovation Center.
Hyundai’s future EV models
Although the Ioniq 3 has not been officially confirmed, and the speculation is based on media reports, TopElectricSUV also understands that HMG has filed a trademark application for Ioniq models ranging from 1 to 10. Moreover, the brand stated previously that odd numbers were reserved for crossovers and SUVs, while even numbers denoted sedans.
In an interview with Automotive News in December 2021, Hyundai Motor Company CEO Jaehoon Chang said that the company plans to sell 220,000 EVs (Hyundai & Genesis combined) worldwide in 2022. At the 2022 CEO Investor Day event held on March 2, 2022, Chang said that the company plans to launch 17 pure EVs – 11 Hyundai models and 6 Genesis models – and increase EV sales to 1.87 million units by 2025. The 11 Hyundai EVs will include 6 SUVs, 3 sedans, 1 LCV, and 1 new-type model.
The next launch for the Hyundai brand in the EV space is the Ioniq 6, which could take place in S.Korea in July 2022. Next year, a significant regional launch is the electric version of the best-selling Hyundai Grandeur as well as the next-gen 2023 Hyundai Kona Electric. In early-2024, the Hyundai Ioniq 7 will break cover.
Hyundai Motor Group Engine Development Center rumors
In December 2021, Business Korea reported that Hyundai Motor Group had closed its Engine Development Center in Namyang, South Korea, and transformed all powertrain-related centers into electrification units. The report said that the company converted its Powertrain Team into an Electrification Development Team that does R&D only on EVs.
While accelerating EV development is generally viewed postively for its first-mover advantage, doing so at the cost of bread-winning ICE vehicles in haste could be detrimental to sales in the immediate future. It could drive away suppliers and investors. Michael Stewart, Senior Group Manager, Hyundai Motor America, gave a statement (to Motor1) in response denying the speculation:
Hyundai Motor Group can confirm that it is not halting the development of its engines following recent media speculation. The Group is dedicated to providing a strong portfolio of powertrains to global customers, which includes a combination of highly efficient engines and zero emissions electric motors.Michael Stewart, Senior Group Manager, Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Ioniq 3 FAQs
What is the Hyundai Ioniq 3 release date?
The Hyundai Ioniq 3 is expected to arrive in the global market starting in 2025.
What will be the Hyundai Ioniq 3 price?
Expect the Hyundai Ioniq 3 price to be in the region of EUR 25,000, positioned below the Kona EV.
Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the Hyundai Ioniq 3.