Hyundai Makes Waves As It Changes The Game For Electric Cars In Singapore
Electric mobility has been gaining traction in major capital cities in recent times, driven by consumer demand in an increasingly environmentally conscious world. A growing number of countries have also implemented policies to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EV) in a bid to reduce global carbon emissions emanating from traditional combustion vehicles. Norway, for instance, offers generous incentives for EV owners, which include not having to pay for heavy import or purchase taxes and road tolls.
These benefits have led to almost a third of all new cars sold in the country in 2018 being fully electric, reported the Norwegian Road Federation. Among the popular electric cars is the Hyundai Kona Electric subcompact SUV, which has seen orders from Hyundai Motor Company’s distributor in Norway reach more than double the annual target set for the car since its introduction in 2018.
Hyundai is one of the marques that is at the forefront of the EV revolution. At the start of this year, the company announced its grand plan to develop a dedicated electric platform as part of a US$40b investment into innovation, in order to build a new electric car fleet that will see it introduce 44 electrified models by 2025.
The South Korean carmaker truly reveals its drive and desire to lead a change in the automotive industry through its FCEV Vision 2030, which sees the company aiming to produce 500,000 units of hydrogen-powered FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicles) by 2030. Its flagship model under this plan is the Nexo SUV, which is said to produce zero emissions and purify the air by filtering out fine dust as it drives.
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Hyundai is also fiercely developing its autonomous driving technology. Its plans were showcased in a video released earlier this year of an intelligent system that will allow its self-driving car owners to send their rides off to charge by themselves with the touch of a button. These cars will seek out a wireless charging spot, sit in it until its battery is fully recharged, and then move to a non-charging parking spot to free up the charger. The car will finally drive itself back to its owner when needed.
This vision ties in nicely with the Economic Development Board’s goal to make Singapore a leading hub for autonomous vehicles and smart mobility systems. In February, the agency announced its priorities for 2019, which include developing the driverless car industry.
This also comes at a time when EV adoption is finally beginning to take off in Singapore, with the government offering tax rebates for low-emission vehicles. Various stakeholders such as state-owned electricity and gas distribution company, SP Group, and electric car-sharing provider, BlueSG, have also started setting up electric charging points across the island and will continue doing so over the next few years—a move that will alleviate concerns about charging EVs in a country where the vast majority of the population live in high-rise buildings.
In response, carmakers and their local distributors are introducing more EV models into the country, and local consumers are learning to welcome them with open arms. In 2016, Singapore only had 12 EVs registered on the roads, according to data from the Land Transport Authority. But that number has since risen significantly, to 314 units in 2017, and 560 units in 2018. These numbers are expected to grow further in the years ahead as measures to encourage EV adoption continue to be implemented.
Evidently, the benefits of embracing electric mobility go beyond convenience and cost savings for consumers. It can also lead to a transformation of cities and future economies. And Hyundai is here today to lead the charge into a greener and more energy-efficient tomorrow.
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On the electric car scene and the future of e-mobility locally, Singapore Tatler's motoring correspondent Andre Lam shares his thoughts:
“There is no doubt that electric cars is part of the long-term future for dense cities such as Singapore. However, there is still some way to go before we can transition from petrol to fully electric. In the meantime, hybrids, which combine both petrol and electric power trains, provide a good bridge, as they offer economical and performance benefits, while still allowing owners a regular driving experience as they do not need to be recharged at charging stations. The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, which is the first car by the marque to be built on a dedicated electrified vehicle platform, is a great choice for car owners who want to make this transition. Having said that, for those among us who do want to go full electric, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric has world-class safety features and a driving range of up to 280km.
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In order to drive further widespread acceptance of electric mobility, charging infrastructure will also need to keep up with the development of electric cars. Hopefully, we will see the fruits of these developments in the near future not just in Singapore, but also in Malaysia, as many motorists here make regular road trips up north.
At the moment though, if one’s lifestyle is able to accommodate electric mobility, now is a good time to go down this route. There are not only tangible environmental benefits to be gained, but financial rewards, too, thanks to the tax incentives for reduced emissions and lower cost of running on electricity as compared to petrol.”
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