Hyundai’s electric car hub in Singapore will help the island go carbon-free

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Hyundai KONA electric
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South Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai Motor Co is committing to electric car production in Singapore with the development of a research and development center for its small-scale electric vehicle production facility expected to be launched soon. 

During the groundbreaking event, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong the facility which will be built with an investment of $295 million (S$400 million) is capable to produce up to 30,000 electric vehicles (EVs) annually by 2025.

One of the world’s most expensive places to buy a car, Singapore does not have an automobile manufacturing facility. But the affluent city-state has set out an ambitious plan to have zero petrol vehicles on road by 2040.

Prime Minister Lee observed that “Automotive activities are becoming viable in Singapore once again. EVs have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths.”

Hyundai expects to complete the construction of the facility by the end of 2022. Even though a Hyundai spokeswoman confirmed the Prime Minister’s claimed capacity target of 30,000, she said that the exact capacity was yet to be determined

Last year, the UK-based vacuum cleaner company Dyson had pulled out from its initial plans to set up an electric car facility in Singapore stating that the project was not commercially viable.

The Southeast Asian sovereign island is making a bold bet on electrification to cut greenhouse gases and slow climate change with an ambitious plan to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

As per Hyundai, its new Singapore facility will strive for carbon neutrality through solar and hydrogen energy. The facility will utilize technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics and is expected to house a test drive track for customers as well.

The center is part of Hyundai’s vision to enable future vehicle buyers to customize and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone, allowing production to be on-demand.