South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor has started construction on a research and development center in Singapore on Tuesday that will house a small-scale electric automobile production facility.
Speaking at the ceremony, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the facility may produce about 30,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year by 2025 and represents an investment of S$400 million ($295 million).
“Automotive activities are becoming important in Singapore once again. EVs have a different supply chain, fewer mechanical parts, and more electronics, which plays to Singapore’s strengths,” Lee said.
A Hyundai representative confirmed the 30,000 unit target but said that the exact capacity was yet to be figured out. The facility is due for completion by the end of 2022, the automaker said.
The announcement follows vacuum cleaner company Dyson who last year scrapped plans to build an electric car in Singapore by saying it was not commercially viable.
The country is planning to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 and make a bigger bet on electrification to slash greenhouse gases and slow climate change.
Hyundai said its new Singapore facility intends to be carbon neutral by using solar and hydrogen energy will utilize technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics and will include a test drive track for consumers.
The center is part of Hyundai’s vision to allow future vehicle buyers to customize and purchase vehicles online using a smartphone, enabling production to be on-demand.