Genesis builds the Electrified GV70 in Alabama: Why that’s necessary

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As of final month, the 2023 Genesis GV70 is now constructed within the U.S.—however solely in certainly one of its variants, a brand new battery-electric model dubbed Electrified GV70. 

Behind that debut lies a narrative. When President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Discount Act final August, constructing EVs in the USA grew to become much more necessary than it was the day earlier than. That’s as a result of one provision within the sprawling industrial-policy invoice restricted buy incentives for brand spanking new battery-electric and plug-in hybrid autos to these fashions assembled in the USA. 

On the time, the listing of battery-electric autos assembly that requirement was brief: the Chevrolet Bolt EV and EUV, Ford F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, Nissan Leaf, and all 4 Tesla fashions (Mannequin S, Mannequin X, Mannequin 3, and Mannequin Y). Since then, the listing has expanded to incorporate the Cadillac Lyriq and Volkswagen ID.4. 

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

That’s how I discovered myself in Montgomery, Alabama, in February, watching a set of electrical automated guided autos maneuver a Genesis GV70 crossover into place and slowly hoist the truck seven ft into the air. A separate robotic automobile then rolled a battery pack into place beneath the newly constructed SUV and lifted it into place. 

As soon as the heavy pack was in place, a group of skilled plant technicians from the “Genesis Multi-Perform Group” swarmed below the automobile. They bolted the pack into place and linked its high-voltage cables, liquid cooling pipes, and extra. After following the automobile by its manufacturing course of, their final step was to check charging earlier than the brand new GV70 Electrified rejoined the remainder of the vehicles constructed on the identical line and waited for a check driver.

The battery-insertion demonstration and the following speeches by firm staff and native, state, and nationwide politicians have been dubbed the “Electrified GV70 Celebration Occasion.” The objective was to indicate that Hyundai’s giant plant in Montgomery, opened in December 2005, was now constructing an EV together with a whole lot of hundreds of inside combustion fashions a yr. 

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

Ramping up for U.S.-built EVs

The plant at current builds the Elantra compact sedan, Tucson compact crossover, Santa Fe mid-size crossover, Sonata sedan, and Santa Cruz pickup truck.

The Genesis Electrified GV70 is a battery-powered model of its well-reviewed and profitable GV70 compact crossover, on sale within the U.S. for greater than a yr with a alternative of turbo-4 or V-6 gasoline engines. In 2022, the model offered 19,141 GV70s, and the entire would have been increased if U.S. sellers may have gotten extra autos to satisfy consumers’ “insatiable urge for food” for it, stated Ted Mengiste, VP of gross sales operations for Genesis U.S.

The choice so as to add GV70 manufacturing to Montgomery reportedly got here collectively rapidly. Hyundai officers met with state Governor Kay Ivey solely in March 2022, the deal was introduced the following month, and early autos rolled off the traces 9 months later. 

That made Montgomery not solely the primary non-Korean Genesis plant, however the firm’s first within the U.S. to construct battery-electric autos (although it was already constructing plug-in hybrid variations of the Tucson and Santa Fe). A month after the Alabama announcement, Hyundai stated it might construct a completely new U.S. plant in Georgia, to assemble as much as 300,000 EVs a yr. The passage of the IRA seems to have accelerated these plans with a possible enlargement to 500,000 items a yr and the potential of Genesis EVs from that plant, too.

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

Electrical vehicles and gasoline fashions on the identical line

The key to operating a number of fashions interspersed on the identical manufacturing line is a constant meeting course of, with the identical items welded collectively or assembled into the in-process shell on the similar factors, no matter whether or not it’s a easy compact sedan or a luxurious SUV. That constant course of lets the plant construct not simply the GV70 interspersed with the assorted Hyundai fashions, however insert the entrance and rear powertrains into the automobile in the identical spot on the road that the gasoline drivetrains—with front- or all-wheel drive—are lifted up from beneath and bolted into place.

GV70 stampings are introduced in and welded collectively in the identical order as these for the Santa Fe, and the finished shell travels alongside the identical line to the identical paint store. Each tenth automobile on the road may be a GV70—that means a manufacturing charge of six per hour on one shift—based on Robert Burns, vp and chief administrative officer for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Inc.

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

However, Burns advised Inexperienced Automotive Studies, the Genesis model makes use of a extra complicated clear-coat paint course of than the Hyundai autos. To simplify that course of, GV70 shells are batched on the entrance to the paint store, then painted in a gaggle as soon as the Hyundai clear-coat has been swapped out of the paint nozzles and the Genesis substances loaded. Then the painted Genesis shells are inserted again into the manufacturing sequence in particular positions that correspond to the order of the “kitted” EV operating gear and different parts queued up for later within the course of.

Again on the road, the electrical GV70’s bright-orange high-voltage wiring harness is inserted into the automobile together with the common harness. Its connectors are in place awaiting the entrance and rear motors, every with energy electronics sitting on prime, and they’re linked collectively on the similar time the myriad items of the common harness are linked to their numerous motors, switches, and devices.

Battery pack marriage: Totally different than Tesla, for certain

The one piece of meeting that couldn’t be accommodated on a manufacturing line constructed for autos with engines was the insertion of the half-ton, several-foot-long battery pack below the cabin ground. All GV70 Electrified fashions roll off the tip of the common line minus a battery, and therefore unable to energy themselves.

That’s the place the robotic carts are available in: the electrical Genesis SUVs divert into a brand new space on the finish of the road the place they’re moved by the AGVs into place below an enormous body. Adjoining to the body, a set of electrical carts holds fully-charged battery packs comprised of nickel-manganese-cobalt cells offered by battery maker SK On. The GV70 is lifted into the air, the AGV strikes a pack beneath it and lifts it into place, and the Multi-Perform Group does the bolting, wiring, and connecting from there.

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

As soon as the battery has been inserted and linked, and the GV70 lowered again down, the Multi-Perform Group members fill the cooling system that retains the battery and motors on the desired temperature for longest life. They do a fast check of charging and discharging, to make sure all connections are working correctly, after which the GV70 Electrified could be pushed out of the plant.

Together with all Hyundai fashions constructed there, the Genesis then heads onto the two-mile check monitor the place all Montgomery-built autos are checked for constant acceleration, braking, and dealing with, water-tight seals, suitably low noise degree, and a bunch of different qualities. 

U.S. production of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

U.S. manufacturing of Genesis Electrified GV70 in Alabama

How does the Genesis Electrified GV70 drive? 

We had an opportunity to drive an early manufacturing model of the Alabama-built Electrified GV70 for half an hour on a number of roads and a freeway close to the meeting plant. The autos provided to reporters carried VINs from 000170 to 000230, suggesting that they had been constructed throughout the few weeks prior. Construct high quality was glorious, with no observable defects.

The check route was largely straight roads, and the native terrain is sort of fully flat, so we are able to’t actually weigh in on the dealing with and roadholding. Our transient drive recommended the electrical GV70 advantages from the additional weight and decrease heart of gravity of its battery pack.

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

Colleague Marty Padgett attended a later first-drive occasion; for complete impressions, learn his assessment of the GV70 Electrified, together with the pricing that hadn’t been established on the time of our plant go to.

Just like the Electrified G80 sedan that preceded it—and regardless of the complicated “electrified” moniker, usually used for hybrids and plug-in hybrids—the Electrified GV70 is a full battery-electric automobile. The identical 77.4-kilowatt-hour battery pack used within the Ioniq 5 hatchback and the upcoming Ioniq 6 sedan powers a pair of 160-kilowatt motors, one every on the entrance and rear axles. Complete output is 320 kw (429 horsepower) and 516 lb-ft of torque, and a “Increase” operate permits the motors to ship 355 kw (483 hp) for as much as 10 seconds by way of a steering-wheel button. Two trim ranges can be found: Superior and Status, roughly equal to the highest two of three trims on the gasoline GV70. 

All-electric by 2030

Genesis will promote solely battery-electric fashions by 2030, the model stated in September. Its final new mannequin with gasoline energy will arrive in 2025, with a five-year runout earlier than new gasoline autos vanish from its showrooms on the flip of the last decade.

Alabama-built Electrified GV70 fashions will begin to seem in U.S. consumers’ driveways by the tip of March, Hyundai stated. Canadian consumers, nevertheless, will obtain their electrical GV70s from the primary manufacturing line in Ulsan, South Korea—as will the remainder of the world’s markets.

Genesis offered airfare, lodging, and meals to allow Inexperienced Automotive Studies to carry you this first-person report. 

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