Channel NewsAsia: Singapore’s Mayton Automotive to develop electric car

Channel NewsAsia reports that Mayton Automotive is building an electric car together with China’s Hebei Shanghong Technology and America’s Maytown Technologies, and   establishing an electric vehicle research and development centre in Singapore, putting in S$10 million over five years.

Singapore’s Mayton Automotive to develop electric car

SINGAPORE: Singapore is developing its very own electric vehicle, with a prototype expected at year-end.

Local company Mayton Automotive is jointly building the car with partners from China and the United States.

The firm is also pumping S$10 million over five years into establishing an electric vehicle research and development centre in Singapore.

Mayton Automotive is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Lihe Investment Holdings.

The company is working with China’s Hebei Shanghong Technology and America’s Maytown Technologies to manufacture the electric vehicles.

The vehicles will be built in the Hengshui City Economic Development Zone in China.

Mayton Automotive also hopes to export the vehicles to other markets around the world.

Mayton Automotive’s proposed development facility in the country will look at researching technology, design and consumer behaviour surrounding electric vehicles.

For example, specific electric vehicle technologies such as batteries and electronic systems from other markets will be brought to Singapore for further study and customisation.

Timothy Lin, Business Development Manager for Mayton, said Singapore is a suitable place for the conduct of such research.

“By using Singapore as a living laboratory for the development and deployment of electric vehicles, I think Singapore can be a model for sustainable urban solutions, which can be studied and replicated in many other cities,” he said.

Since 2011, authorities have been actively assessing just how well eco-friendly cars fare in the local environment.

There are currently about 40 electric vehicles on the road.

An inter-agency Electric Vehicle Taskforce, led by the Energy Market Authority and the Land Transport Authority, has put in work to test-bed various prototypes and technologies.

Both authorities, along with the National University of Singapore’s Energy Studies Institute, are reviewing data from the study, which will end in 2013.

Mayton Automotive hopes to supplement government efforts with a parallel test-bed using up to 200 vehicles in the residential estate of Punggol.

The firm is talking to various agencies with the aim of starting the trial after June 2013.

The trial will look into electric vehicle usage and charging patterns, pricing and scheduling considerations.

Experts like Professor Lang Tong from Cornell University said authorities and industry players need to work closely for electric vehicles to be widely adopted.

“Electric vehicle is a special technology. It requires simultaneous deployment of both vehicles and the charging infrastructures. If there are not enough electric vehicles, there will be no one interested in investing charging infrastructures. Conversely, the lack of infrastructure will inhibit people’s desire to adopt electric vehicles.”

Singapore Power has also undertaken a one to two-year study on the impact of electric vehicles on the national grid.

The study began in March 2012.

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