Singapore is working towards having all its vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre at the Jurong Town Council (JTC) Hall on Oct 13.

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The goal is in line with Singapore’s Paris Agreement commitments, so that “our air is cleaner, and Singaporeans can have a better quality of life,” Lee declared.

The ceremony marks the opening of Hyundai’s newest facility, which is the first of its kind in the world, and will enable the South Korean car maker to develop new automotive technologies, including the production of electric cars.

To date, Hyundai has invested some $400 million in its innovation centre. The centre is said to be able to produce up to 30,000 vehicles per year by 2025.

Apart from Lee, the ceremony was also attended by South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry & Energy Sung Yun-mo and Hyundai’s executive vice chairman Chung Eui-sun.

The facility will be housed in the Jurong Innovation District, which already commands a “vibrant ecosystem of researchers, technology partners and factories of the future”, says Lee.

“Singapore has also been developing our plans for autonomous and electric vehicle research and development. I am glad that Hyundai has invested in a joint venture, Motional, which conducts R&D and our autonomous vehicle trials here,” he adds.

Earlier this year, the government unveiled its plans to drive demand for electric vehicles (EVs) and to build infrastructure to support EVs such as charging points ahead of demand.

“Now we are taking another step to anchor the value chain here with HMGICS, as the first EV manufacturing facility in Singapore,” Lee notes.

“We hope this will open up new growth areas for our economy, and create exciting jobs for Singaporeans, for example Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) engineers, data scientists, cobot technicians and digital supply chain strategists.”

The Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Centre is also said to pave the way for more Korean companies to invest in the republic, with agencies such as EDB, JTC, ESG, and A*STAR supporting these partnerships.