Hyundai begins building electric vehicle hub in Singapore

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co started construction on a research and development centre in Singapore on Tuesday that will house a small-scale electric vehicle production facility.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the facility may produce up to 30,000 electric vehicles (EVs) annually by 2025 and represents an investment of S$400 million ($295 million).

Singapore is one of the world’s most expensive places to buy a car and does not currently have any auto manufacturing capacity. But the wealthy city-state has set out ambitious plans to phase out petrol vehicles by 2040.

“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,” PM Lee said.

A Hyundai spokeswoman confirmed the 30,000 unit target but said that the exact capacity was yet to be determined. The facility is due for completion by end 2022, the firm said in a statement.

The announcement comes after vacuum cleaner company Dyson last year scrapped plans to build an electric car in Singapore, saying it was not commercially viable.

Singapore plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, and make a bigger bet on electrification to cut greenhouse gases and slow climate change.

Hyundai said in a statement its new Singapore facility aims to be carbon neutral by using solar and hydrogen energy, will utilise technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics, and will include a test drive track for customers.

The centre 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.

($1 = 1.3590 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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810-HP Hyundai Veloster Concept Is an All-Electric RWD Track Car

Photo credit: Hyundai
Photo credit: Hyundai

From Car and Driver

In a follow-up to its electric eTCR Veloster race car introduced last year, Hyundai has built a new battery-powered concept based on our favorite hot hatch. It’s called the RM20e, and like the Veloster eTCR, it has a mid-mounted motor and spins the rear wheels. Developed in collaboration with Rimac, it makes a claimed 810 horsepower and 708 lb-ft of torque. That is . . . a lot.

The RM20e is the latest in a long line of midship Hyundai Veloster concepts, with the first having debuted in 2015. The RM stands for “racing midship.” According to the South Korean company, the car is an engineering rolling lab for testing its new high-performance tech. The single 800-volt electric motor is powered by a 60.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which Hyundai claims is able to propel the car to 60 mph in less than three seconds and on to 124 mph in 9.9 seconds. Top speed is over 155 mph.

Hyundai says its recent investment and partnership with Croatian firm Rimac is what facilitated this all-electric concept. The carmaker says the “platform will continue to evolve along with the growth of this Rimac partnership,” which could only mean more cool high-horsepower track cars going forward.

“Our new electrified RM20e pushes the proven RM platform forcefully into a new, environmentally focused decade of the 21st century, stretching the performance envelope of electrification on normal road environments,” Hyundai R&D boss Albert Biermann said in a statement. “RM20e represents a revolutionary new chapter of electrified performance for the Racing Midship series, and our N engineers continue to garner valuable insights in the arena of zero-emission performance dynamics.”

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