Smaller Hyundai ‘Ioniq 3’ to be produced in Singapore in 2025 [Update]

Hyundai Motor Group’s Singaporean plant has brought new excitement to the global EV market. Building upon its report prior to the plant announcement, The Straits Times reiterated in October 2020 that the yet-to-be-announced Hyundai Ioniq 3 is in the pipeline. Smaller than the Hyundai Ioniq 5, it will roll out of the company’s new plant in Jurong, Singapore.

Construction of the Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICS) will complete by the end of 2022. According to the Singaporean publication, assembly of the Ioniq 5 would start first. Two-three years later, the Hyundai Ioniq 3, imaginably a crossover the size of the VW T-Cross or Ford EcoSport, would be produced here.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Hyundai Ioniq 3 will likely be exported from Singapore, possibly to neighbouring Asian markets including ASEAN countries. HMG could build up to 30,000 Hyundai electric cars at the Singaporean site every year, and obviously, domestic demand isn’t big enough to absorb the full yield. The estimated annual sales volume for Hyundai EVs in the domestic market is 5,000-6,000 units.

The HMG Singapore facility will comprise a futuristic R&D centre and a smart vehicle production site. The latter is believed to be a sophisticated assembly plant which would put together SKD/CKD kits sourced from an overseas site, and not conduct full-scale manufacturing. Still, a possible advantage for customers is Battery as a Service (BaaS) ownership model for next-gen Hyundai EVs.

Under BaaS, the battery price is not included in the vehicle sales price/finance payments. So, the initial cost to switch to a Hyundai Ioniq 5 and a Hyundai Ioniq 3 would be low. A battery typically accounts for 50% of the cost of EVs, making them expensive in an outright purchase model. Customers going for BaaS would get to conveniently take a battery subscription plan, and thus, their acquisition cost would be significantly lower.

A version of the E-GMP platform would underpin the Ioniq 3

Hyundai Kia Genesis E-GMP platform V2L vehicle to load
Due to smaller dimensions and the lower performance and range requirements, the Ioniq 3 may not demand a platform as sophisticated as the stock E-GMP. Image Source: Hyundai Motor Group

Like every upcoming Hyundai Ioniq model, the 3 would have to be based on the company’s E-GMP platform. 500+ km range (WLTP), 800-volt operating voltage, bi-directional charging, 350 kW rapid-charging, are some of the main talking points of the dedicated EV platform.

Volkswagen Group plans to scale down its dedicated EV platform (MEB) for A- and B-segment models (incl. VW ID.1 & VW ID.2) to where it almost has to redevelop an architecture to meet tough cost targets. Similarly, Hyundai Motor Group may consider a low-spec version of E-GMP for superminis and city cars. The Ioniq 3 could be the first model underpinned by the E-GMP low-spec, featuring a squarish body with flared wheel arches and a decent ground clearance.

Hyundai & SP Group partner for charging infrastructure & battery recycling

Hyundai Motor has a partnership with Singapore’s largest charging company SP Group to build the foundation for a battery subscription service in the country. The two companies plan to build an innovative electric power ecosystem by increasing the supply and charging infrastructure of EVs, researching policies for EVs in the country and recycling electric car batteries.

SP Group currently has the largest network of fast chargers in the country and is making strides to expand it to encourage EV adoption among Singaporean car buyers.

Watch the Ioniq 3 get built at HMGICS

It was in August when a report from thestraitstimes.com revealed that Hyundai plans an electric vehicle factory in Singapore and launch the Hyundai Ioniq 3. Following that developments, HMG announced a new Hyundai electric plant in Singapore in October.

Hyundai electric car platform
The platform specification of the Ioniq 3 is unlikely to support features like V2L, solar roof, virtual mirrors or wireless charging. Image: Hyundai

Ioniq EV customers in Singapore will be able to watch their car being manufactured, and once their car is ready for delivery, it will be taken to a 620-metre-long ‘Sky Track’ to give them a test drive. Sky Track will be located atop a high-end seven-story ‘Innovation Centre’, and HMG’s entire Singapore facility, including this R&D centre and the manufacturing plant, will measure 44,000 m2. The building itself will cover an area of 28,000 m2, and feature a landing port for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony in October, PM Lee Hsien Loong also said that HMG is developing an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL), or basically a flying car, with 2028 as the deadline, hence the construction of a landing port for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) on the building.

Perhaps one day we will manufacture them at HMGICS and see them fly in the skies of Singapore. Never say never!

Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore, on Hyundai’s flying car project.

Hyundai Ioniq 3 to be positioned below the 5, 6 & 7 models

While Hyundai has confirmed only Ioniq 5 (2021) Ioniq 6 (2022) and Ioniq 7 (2024) models, ElectricVehicleWeb understands that the company has filed a trademark application for Ioniq models ranging from numbers 1 to 10, keeping the door open for many smaller and bigger EVs under the sub-brand.

The Hyundai Ioniq 3 is one of these several yet-to-be-announced Hyundai electric vehicles. Hyundai had confirmed that odd numbers were designated to crossover vehicles and even numbers for sedans. The Ioniq cars would wear the Hyundai badge and sell through the company’s dealerships and isn’t a standalone brand like Genesis.

Video: Youtube/Hyundai Worldwide

Singapore doesn’t have an auto manufacturing industry, and HMG typically sets up plants in only well-established markets where there is a significant demand for cars. However, the company has indicated a renewed focus on the ASEAN region in the recent past, announcing its first auto plant in Indonesia and new ASEAN-focused models in November 2019. The EV plant in Singapore will further strengthen its business in the region.

Singapore is promoting EVs to a great deal with various measures. Last month, the country’s Land Transport Authority announced that it has put a ban on the sale of new diesel cars for both private and taxi use from 2025. Moreover, to make using EVs convenient, it plans to install 60,000 charging points across the country by 2030, two-thirds (40,000) at public car parks and one-third (20,000) in private areas.