In a recent Eight Motoring discussion, readers were of the view that if Singapore were to launch a national vehicle, it should be a fully electric vehicle. Well, guess what? It might be possible. We explain.
Instead of taking the conventional route and building a car that is affordable to the masses, Our suggestion is for a complete Electric Vehicle program with a full works battery technology manufacturing program included. The range of vehicles include the following: –
- Compact Sedan that runs completely on battery power
- Family SUV that runs completely on battery power
- Family 7-seat MPV that runs completely on battery power
- Small commercial van that runs completely on battery power
- One tonne truck that runs completely on battery power
This Singaporean national car program should be a joint venture with Chinese electric vehicle company LYNK & Co. Why? Well, LYNK & Co is a new brand by Geely Auto.
In 2017 we saw the launch of the 01, the first product from Geely Auto’s newest brand LYNK & Co. “Born Global and Connected,” LYNK & Co sets a new benchmark for EV manufacturing globally with a brand new plant in China. This brand new high technology/ultra-modern plant combines technology and manufacturing know-how from the Geely and Volvo Cars units of China auto giant Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
The Zhangjiakou complex builds the LYNK & Co 02 SUV and a sedan called the 03 for the Chinese market. Currently, the plant has about 1,800 workers on one daily shift, labouring alongside nearly 300 robots. When the factory goes to a second shift, it will employ 3,000 people capable of building about 200,000 cars per year. Those are employment and production levels consistent with mature market auto plants.
Importantly, LYNK & Co is building left hand drive vehicles right now for China and European buyers. If Singapore were to work with them, Singapore can be the manufacturing hub for right hand drive vehicles which would allow easy sales access to ASEAN including Australia and New Zealand. Current LYNK & Co models are plug-in hybrids and they working towards full electric vehicle lineup in coming years. Other than a claimed electric range of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The plug-in hybrid is a pairing of a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine with an electric motor. LYNK & Co plans to gradually add more electrified vehicles to its lineup.
The additional success of local battery manufacturing would allow sales and replacement of hybrid and full electric vehicle batteries to the current thousands of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles that are running in ASEAN.
Alternatively, we could rope Malaysia in (remember Tun Mahatir’s suggestion at a 3rd national car for Malaysia?) for a Singapore – Malaysia – LYNK & Co joint venture. Let us know your thoughts.