The Hyundai Motor Group has started construction on its Innovation Center in Singapore, with the facility housing a new electric vehicle assembly plant
The Hyundai Motor Group has began groundbreaking works on its new Innovation Center in Singapore. The facility, which will be located at the Jurong Innovation District, will contain an electric vehicle (EV) assembly plant that is capable of producing up to 30,000 EVs annually by 2025.
The plant is expected to assemble Hyundai’s new Ioniq range of EVs once the facility is completed at the end of 2022, and while the cars produced will be offered for sale here in Singapore, prices are unlikely to be significant cheaper as prevailing vehicular taxes will still apply.
However, Hyundai is exploring a battery-leasing programme, where customers can buy an EV without batteries included, and lease the battery pack from the company. The scheme may help to bring the price of the vehicle down, but Hyundai has not released details about the programme as yet.
In the meantime, Hyundai will introduce a new way of buying the locally-built EVs, where customers can build and purchase their cars through their smartphones, and subsequently visit the plant to watch their cars being assembled. Once the cars are finished, customers can take their car to a 620-metre long ‘Sky Track’ that sits atop the seven-storey facility to test drive their new purchase.
The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore (to give its full name, abbreviated to HMGICS) will function as a open innovation lab for mobility solutions, with Hyundai planning to conduct research and development in areas such as autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing. It will also have a landing pad for passenger drones, which Hyundai is currently developing, and the 44,000 square metre facility will run on renewable energy sources such as solar and hyrdogen power.
The virtual groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Euisun Chung, South Korea’s Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo, and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who noted that the facility marks the return of vehicle manufacturing in Singapore for the first time in almost 40 years.
PM Lee says that Singapore is well placed as a hub for the manufacture of electric vehicles however, as “(they) have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths.” He adds that the presence of digital industry partners like Hyundai in Singapore will lead to the creation of job opportunities in the areas of digital data science and engineering, as well as supply chain specialists.